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Bringing Inter-Cultural Understanding through Holi Festival

Bringing Inter-Cultural Understanding through Holi Festival

Since its introduction to the Rotorua community in 2010, Holi – the Hindu Festival of Colours – has been growing steadily.

This year the festival will be celebrated in Rotorua on Saturday, 15 March 2014 and it is organised by the Hindu Council of New Zealand.

Holi is a festival of fun and is celebrated by people covering each other with coloured powder, and drenching each other with coloured water. Annual celebration of this colourful festival bridges social and personal differences, bringing people and communities together.

This year, it has a special significance for two reasons.

First, the festival will be part of the second Maori Indian Hui. Many delegates of Maori Indian Hui are already excited about being part of Holi, the festival of colours. During the first Maori Indian Hui, they had experienced Deepawali, the festival of lights.

Second, a television production crew has approached the organisation to make half-hour documentary on Rotorua Holi Festival and it will be telecast on a national television.

“We are excited that our festival is being recognised and that we will be sharing our festival with the wider community through the visual media,” said Murali Magesan, the coordinator of Rotorua Holi Festival 2014.

“Celebrating Holi with different colours and bringing various community groups helps in inter-cultural understanding. It is an added bonus that Maori Indian community will be part of the whole festival,” added Murali Magesan.

One of the key objectives of this festival is to encourage youth to not only participate but also learn to organise events to develop and nourish a community spirit.

As Hindu Council of New Zealand has been keen to take this philosophy to the wider community, it has been organising the festival at different venues with different community In the first year (2010), it organised at the Te Papaiouru Marae, Ohinemutu Village. In 2011, it was held at Rotorua Soundshell and Village Green. In 2012, the festival was celebrated at Linton Park Community Centre. Last year, it was organised at the Western Heights High School

This year, the festival will be celebrated as part of the second Maori Indian Hui at the Tangatarua Marae, Waiariki Institute of Technology campus, Rotorua. All delegates from the Hui will also participate in the festival.

The official festival will start at 3.00 pm on Saturday, 15 March 2014. Here people will get an opportunity to indulge in customary revelry with coloured powder and water.

Please be advised that the clothes you wear will get coloured, old clothes are probably best!

The Hindu Council of New Zealand believes in the spirit of community well-being on the Principle of “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” (World is one family).


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