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Community Bulletin: Preserving The World’s Tallest Mountain

A round-up of community activities from across the country:

Everest Day spurs call to preserve iconic mountain

As part of Everest Day celebrations across New Zealand, the Nepalese community has renewed calls for preserving the world's highest peak.

"New Zealand and Nepal share a common commitment to preserving the pristine beauty of Everest and its surrounding Himalayan region," says the Nepalese Culture and Tourism Promotion Forum in a statement.

"However, the increasing footfall of climbers and tourists has raised concerns about environmental degradation and waste management. As custodians of Everest, both nations must work together to implement sustainable practices and ensure the conservation of this natural treasure for future generations."

The group called on the New Zealand government to lead the way in setting a global example for responsible adventure.

"The New Zealand government, with its expertise in environmental management and sustainable tourism practices, can play a pivotal role in saving Everest from becoming a victim of its own popularity," the statement said.

Seventy-one years ago, at 11.30am on 29 May 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first climbers to the world's highest peak.

Nepal begun commemorating the date as International Everest Day after Hillary's death in 2008 as an occasion to promote alpine tourism and mark the special bond that exists between Nepal and New Zealand.

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To celebrate Hillary and Tenzing's historic feat, several programs are organized every year across New Zealand that showcase Nepalese culture, cuisine and traditions.

Celebrations this year took place in Auckland, Wellington and Invercargill.

Girmit Remembrance Day marked in New Zealand

The Fiji-Indian community in New Zealand marked Girmit Remembrance Day on 14 May.

It was this day in 1879, a ship named The Leonidas docked in Fiji with 463 Indian indentured labourers who were sent to the Pacific to work in sugar cane plantations.

Over the next 37 years, more than 60,000 people were transferred from all parts of British India to work in Fiji.

These workers came to be known as the Girmitiyas, as they were bound by a girmit - a Hindi pronunciation of the English word "agreement".

One of the biggest events took place in Auckland's Mangere neighbourhood organised by the Fiji Girmit Foundation New Zealand.

"It is a day where we honour and remember their struggles and sacrifices, but we also celebrate their resilience," Krish Naidu, president of the foundation, told RNZ last year.

"It's important our young people in particular actually understand who we are, where we come from."

A similar event was organised in Wellington's Petone by the Fiji Indian Association and Tisi Sangam Wellington.

Sikh Heritage School celebrates its annual day

The Sikh Heritage School, which is based in Auckland's Takanini neighbourhood and is managed by the Supreme Sikh Society, celebrated its annual day on 4 May with hundreds of children participating in various activities.

Since its foundation with just five children in 1989, the school has grown to accommodate more than 1000 kids between the age of 4 and 19 over the past three decades.

The school is run by a team of 30 teachers, alongside a board comprising five members and four administrators.

"Offering a comprehensive curriculum spanning 24 classes, including Punjabi language, music and Gurbani recitation, the school serves as a vital bridge connecting New Zealand children to their cultural roots and mother tongue," said Daljit Singh, president of the Supreme Sikh Society.

"A defining characteristic of the Sikh Heritage School is its dedication to fostering fluency in Punjabi among its students through immersive learning experiences."

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