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9 Feb 2024

Community bulletin: Martyrs’ Day commemoration and harvest festival celebrations

5:09 pm on 9 February 2024
New Zealand Telugu Association's Sanskranthi Sambaralu celebrations.

New Zealand Telugu Association's Sanskranthi Sambaralu celebration. Photo: Supplied / Bala Reddy

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

NZ Telugu Association celebrates Sankranthi Sambaralu

The New Zealand Telugu Association organised its annual Sankranthi Sambaralu event at Auckland's Mount Roskill War Memorial on 13 January. Highlights of the day included rangoli and kite-flying competitions, followed by an authentic Telugu dinner.

A separate kite-flying competition was organised by Vaishnav Parivar at Auckland's Eastdale Reserve in Avondale on 13 January. In addition, visitors enjoyed food stalls, live cultural performances, folk dances, rides, face painting and a drawing competition for children.

In India, Sankranthi - or Sankranti as it is called in northern India - is typically celebrated on 14 January.

On this day in the Hindu calendar, winter starts turning to spring as the sun transitions from the zodiac sign of Sagittarius to Capricorn.

As the day also marks the beginning of the harvest season, it's traditionally a time for feasts, singing and dancing.

Students of NZ Bhangra Academy perform at Christchurch Lohri Mela.

Students of NZ Bhangra Academy perform at Christchurch Lohri Mela. Photo: Facebook / IndianNZ Association of Christchurch Inc

Christchurch Lohri Mela aims to bring in good fortune

The Garden City-based IndianNZ Association of Christchurch organised the fifth annual Lohri fair on 27 January.

Dubbed as "a fiesta of tradition and culture", the estimated 700 or so attendees were treated to a lively evening of dance and music, along with some Indian delicacies.

The highlight of the event was the first-ever Lohri celebration for 30 newborn babies and a bhangra performance by students of New Zealand Bhangra Academy.

NZ Punjabi Media Trust organises fourth annual Multicultural Fun Day

The fourth annual Multicultural Fun Day was organised by the New Zealand Punjabi Multimedia Trust at Auckland's Barry Curtis Parl on 27 January, with more than 300 visitors attending.

Alongside traditional Indian and contemporary modern food, the event featured quizzes, book releases and a cricket match on the sidelines.

Transport Minister Simeon Brown, Takanini MP Rima Nakhle and local board member Ashraf Choudhary attended.

Community elders that attended spoke of the importance of creating more opportunities for various communities to connect with each other.

Floral tribute paid to Mahatma Gandhi on Martyrs' Day in Wellington" Courtesy Indian High Commission

A floral tribute was paid to Mahatma Gandhi on Martyrs' Day in Wellington. Photo: Supplied / Indian High Commission

Martyrs' Day marked in Wellington

India marks Martyrs' Day on 30 January every year to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi's assassination in 1948.

It has become something of a tradition for the Indian High Commission in Wellington to commemorate the day in front of the statue of Gandhi at Wellington train station each year.

Indian High Commissioner Neeta Bhushan led the gathering in laying a floral tribute to Gandhi, who led India's non-violent struggle for independence against British colonial rule.

Members of the Pujaya Mahatma Gandhi Birthday Commemoration Committee of New Zealand were also present on the occasion.

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