Counting down to Diwali 2011

Press Release – Asianz

Diwali school holiday programme: 12-2pm, Monday, October 10 and Tuesday, October 11 at the Air New Zealand Foyer, Level 5, Aotea Centre, The Edge. Families are in for a treat at next weekend’s Diwali Festival of Lights in Auckland, with giant …Counting down to Diwali 2011

Auckland Diwali Festival of Lights: from midday on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9 at Aotea Square and Aotea Centre.

Diwali school holiday programme: 12-2pm, Monday, October 10 and Tuesday, October 11 at the Air New Zealand Foyer, Level 5, Aotea Centre, The Edge.

Families are in for a treat at next weekend’s Diwali Festival of Lights in Auckland, with giant shadow puppets and a spectacular sand sculpture among the many attractions.

Organised by the Asia New Zealand Foundation (Asia:NZ) in partnership with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Ltd and community groups, the 10th Diwali celebrations promise to be more spectacular than ever, as they coincide with the Rugby World Cup 2011.

Diwali Festival of Lights will take place from midday on Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9 at Aotea Square and Aotea Centre. The family-friendly celebrations are free to attend. Highlights include delicious vegetarian food stalls, non-stop performances by both local and international artists, and the hotly contested Bollywood Dance Competition.

This year’s international artists include visiting sand sculptor Ranjan Kumar Ganguly, who will build a large sculpture at Aotea Square. The Indian Puppeteers company will use giant shadow puppets to tell much-loved Indian stories, while Manipuri dancers from the JN Manipur Dance Academy will delight with their intricate and colourful costumes.

Asia:NZ has also organised a separate programme of performances and activities to help keep the kids entertained during the school holidays. The programme – aimed at children aged four to 16 – includes henna drawing, sari tying, and mask painting workshops, as well as performances by the Manipuri dancers and the Indian Puppeteers.

Diwali, also known as Deepavali, is a traditional family celebration that involves the lighting of small oil-filled lamps and candles to signify the triumph of good over evil. Originally a Hindu festival, it now signifies different things throughout India. New Zealand’s festivals not only celebrate the traditions of Diwali but give Indian communities the opportunity to share their cultures.

www.asianz.org.nz

ENDS

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