Press Release – Hindu Council of New Zealand
Rotorua will once again celebrate the richness of Deepawali festival on Saturday, 12 October 2013 at the Rotorua Convention Centre. This year’s festival is run by Maori Indian community, with the theme ‘Community HealthHINDU COUNCIL OF NEW ZEALAND Incorporated
(Registered with Charities Commission Regd No: CC31281; Donee organisation status from IRD)
Organisation in Special Consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council since 2012
Post Box 6240, Whakarewarewa, Rotorua 3043, New Zealand
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MEDIA RELEASE (1 October 2013)
Deepawali festival to promote Community Health
Rotorua will once again celebrate the richness of Deepawali festival on Saturday, 12 October 2013 at the Rotorua Convention Centre. This year’s festival is run by Maori Indian community, with the theme ‘Community Health‘.
The festival will be inaugurated by Hon Todd McClay, Minister of Revenue and Associate Minister of Health.
In association with Yogathon New Zealand, Rotorua Deepawali Festival committee will run a ‘Health for Humanity’ Yoga competition from 10.30 am to 11.30 am, just after the official opening ceremony of the festival. It aims to create awareness about Yoga and it’s health benefits.
Participation and competition is open and free to all. People from all walks of life and different age groups are expected to participate. One or two cash prizes are expected to be given away in this competition in Rotorua.
Before the competition, all participants will be taught how to do ‘Surya Namaskar’ (Sun salutations), which are a series of Yoga postures.
New Zealand cities will also witness ‘Health for Humanity’ yogathon programme from 12th to 26th of October 2013.
Deepawali, a well-known Hindu festival, is not only celebrated by people of India, but also by Hindu people of Nepal, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, Fiji and many other countries. In an increasingly multi-cultural New Zealand not only Hindus from all over the world, but all communities participate in events like Deepawali and share their cultures with each other.
Hindu Council of New Zealand made Deepawali a public festival in Rotorua in 2008. With the support of like-minded community oriented organisations and associations Rotorua Deepawali Festival has increasingly become an anticipated community event in October.
Each year, an increasing number of community organisations have supported the Rotorua Deepawali Festival (RDF) in the spirit of understanding and mutual respect, thereby developing and strengthening inter-cultural bonds.
For the past five years, the festival was run by Hindu Council of New Zealand with various themes. In the first year, a message of healthy lifestyle and care for environment was promoted through Smoke-free, Alcohol-free and Meat-free festival, which is also in accordance with Hindu cultural practice. In the following years, the themes were Hindu Maori relations, Developing Youth Leadership, Women Empowerment, and Unity in Diversity, respectively.
From this year, different organisations are given opportunity to lead the festival. In 2013, the festival is led by Maori Indian community. Next year, Nepalese community will lead the festival. Likewise, we are expecting various community organisations to lead the festival with the support of Hindu Council.
The Hindu Council of New Zealand and the Rotorua Deepawali Festival committee also train volunteers for community work. We welcome volunteers genuinely interested in promoting Rotorua Deepawali Festival in the spirit of community well-being on the principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (World is one family).
Last year, the community work of Hindu Council of New Zealand was recognised by the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and Hindu Council of New Zealand has been accorded a Special Consultative Status with them. It means Hindu Council of NZ is now a part of the Non-Governmental Organizations Branch of the United Nations.
This indeed recognises the constructive work and positive attitude of the Hindu community in New Zealand, and in particular of the Hindu Council of New Zealand.
On behalf of Rotorua Deepawali Festival Committee and Hindu Council of New Zealand (HCNZ), its executive committee, volunteers and supporters, we invite you to the Rotorua Deepawali Festival 2013.
If you are interested in attending the free festival, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place.