Festival of lights marked in Tokoroa
The South Waikato Diwali celebrations committee is gearing up to celebrate the festival of lights with the community.
Organisers Mohan Lal and Lalita Sudhaker are excited to be opening the festival to the wider community.
‘‘We have been holding this festival in Tokoroa for 12 years, at first we held it at our home with close friends and family and it has grown.’’
Last year Taupo MP Louise Upston attended the festival at the Tokoroa Cinema.
Festival of Lights is a very important event in the Indian calendar and is celebrated all around the world. Today this festival has become an important occasion and is also celebrated in the New Zealand Parliament.
Diwali Festival of lights is also known as Deepawali. It marks the New Year in the Indian Calendar.
Traditionally the festival of lights is marked by four days of celebration, which literally illumines the country.
Each of the four days in the festival of Diwali is separated by a different tradition.
‘‘What remains true and constant is the celebration of life, its enjoyment and goodness. Historically, the origin of Diwali can be traced back to ancient India,’’ Mr Lal said.
The programme for the evening includes performances by Indian dancers, Rock n Roll Club, individual performances and the the significant lighting of candles. There will also be a three-course Indian meal.
Guest speakers during the night include local MP Louise Upston and South Waikato District Mayor Neil Sinclair. Tickets for the Festival of Lights are available from Tokoroa Cinema and from Ms Sudhakar at the South Waikato District Library at a cost of $20.
Mr Mohan Lal, chairman of the Diwali committee explained the significance of the candles.
‘‘The light burns to show light to others meaning selfless sacrifices for others, caring for others in the community without any expectation. To create a light, we need a utensil to hold the oil in; it needs a wick, matches, air and a person to light the match.
‘‘ This signifies the cooperation with others to achieve higher ideals in life and for the community.
‘‘Darkness represents ignorance and the light is a metaphor for knowledge. Therefore, lighting a candle signifies the destruction, through knowledge, of all negative forces,’’ Mr Lal said.
The Diwali Festival of Lights will be held at Te Wananga o Aotearoa Tokoroa Campus, October 15 beginning at 6pm. Tickets are $20 and available from the Tokoroa Library and the Tokoroa Cinema. For more information or if you would like to help during the festival contact Mr Lal on 07 886 557 or email email@example.com.
Taupo MP, Louise Upston celebrated Diwali in Tokoroa last year.