The Indian Community Southland (ICS), with support from the High Commissioner of India in Wellington, is set to host the spectacular G J Gardener’s Diwali Festival on November 4, 2023, at the ILT Stadium. The ICS, a registered charity, is gearing up to paint Invercargill in vibrant hues as it presents the annual Diwali celebration, an event set to dazzle the senses with a vibrant cultural experience and mouthwatering cuisine.
Diwali, also known as the Festival of Lights, is a time-honored tradition celebrated across India, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. This jubilant festival holds a special place in the hearts of Indians, transcending the boundaries of diverse communities within the nation and resonating globally wherever Indian communities reside, according to Vinay Sood, the President of ICS.
“Last year, the event saw an impressive turnout of close to 5000 attendees, and this year is expected to be even grander,” said Arick John, Director of the Diwali Marketing team. The festivities will feature captivating performances by the Hamilton Bhangra and Gidha Group, showcasing the vibrant culture of North India. Vipul Sally, leading the Performance team for Diwali, is excited that the energetic beats of Bhangra and the graceful moves of Gidha, traditional folk dances, promise to enthrall the audience with their lively choreography and spirited performances.
As a special treat for the audience, a renowned Indian classical dancer and actor, hailing all the way from India, will grace the stage with a mesmerizing performance. The classical dance, steeped in centuries-old tradition, promises to captivate with intricate movements, expressing stories and emotions through graceful gestures and expressive postures.
One of the highlights of Diwali will undoubtedly be the diverse culinary offerings, representing various regions of India. Attendees can savor the flavors of India, from aromatic curries to delectable sweets, promising a gastronomic journey through the subcontinent, according to Amar and Anil, the leading hospitality team for Diwali.
The Diwali celebration at ILT Stadium is a free event, welcoming all members of the community to partake in this cultural extravaganza. It is an opportunity for Invercargill residents to experience the vibrant traditions of India, fostering unity and understanding among diverse cultures.
“Diwali has become one of the annual iconic events of Southland and has only been possible with the support of local national community funders and businesses,” said Prashant Kumar, Treasurer of ICS.
Sood, the President of Indian Community Southland, said, “ICS’s Diwali celebration not only brings the Indian community together but also serves as a bridge for cultural exchange, allowing Southlanders to embrace the rich heritage and traditions of India. This annual event is a testament to the power of unity and celebration, spreading the message of light, goodness, and harmony throughout the region.”
For more information about the event, please visit the Indian Community Southland official website.