On April 15, 2023, the Kerala Cultural Forum (KCF) of Christchurch held a joint Easter and Vishu celebration at Riccarton High School, attended by more than 300 people from the Malayali and wider community. Sabhareesh and Sreelaksmi served as emcees, while Pothichor was the chef de partie. The event started with a welcome speech by the KCF President, Binu Thomas, who greeted all guests, including dignitaries such as National Party’s Christchurch Central candidate Dale Stephens and its Wigram candidate Tracey Somerfield.
Vishu, the traditional New Year in the southern Indian state of Kerala, is celebrated enthusiastically and is believed to bring good luck and fortune. A key element of the celebration is the “Vishu kaineetam,” where children are gifted with coins, usually gold, as a symbol of blessings from elders and sharing wealth with loved ones. This event is significant in Christchurch’s festival calendar, where members of the Christian, Hindu, and Malayali communities gather to celebrate both Easter and Vishu.
During the event, guests were treated to 14 cultural performances by members of different age groups. Joint Secretary Anitha Chacko gave the vote of thanks, and Sadhya was served for dinner, adding to the festive spirit. KCF’s committee comprises Binu Thomas, Syam Dev, Twinkle Antoney, Unni Krishnan, Anitha Chacko, Anoop Bhasi, Sree Dev, and Tity Thomas, expressed gratitude to all the attendees, sponsors, and performers who took part.
Founded in 2011, the KCF aims to unite Indians of Kerala origin residing in Christchurch, preserve Malayali traditions, and provide younger members with an opportunity to experience and learn from the rich cultural heritage. The event was supported by Generation Homes, Team Yogesh Bhargava, Kannangara Thomson, Solidity Financial Services, 5 River Spice Bazaar, True Value Cars, Impact Outdoors, and Eco Travels. KCF’s next significant event will be Onam celebrations on Sunday, August 27.