Diwali Festival 2013

27.10.13

Namasté. Namaskaram. Kem cho. Sat Sri Akaal venakkam

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

I’d like to acknowledge the following who join us here today:

  • Hon Nikki Kaye, representing the Prime Minister
  • Grant Robertson, representing the Leader of the Opposition
  • Your excellency Acting Indian High Commissioner, Mukesh Randev
  • John McKinnon, Executive Director, Asia New Zealand Foundation
  • Deputy Mayor Justin Lester
  • Cr Nicola Young
  • Festival organisers, performers and audience

Welcome to the Festival of Light, Diwali.

It’s an honour to share this great celebration with all of Wellington’s many diverse communities.

Diwali is an enormously special occasion for the Hindi communities here in Wellington, a way of expressing their culture to all communities who share our Capital City

It’s great to be part of a global phenomenon, where Diwali is celebrated across the world, recognising the rise of Indian culture and commerce in many countries.

Your Council is committed to celebrating the diversity of its population and is proud to support this festival.

I hope you enjoy Council's transformed Shed 6.

Wellington has a strong and vibrant Indian community. More than 11,000 people identify themselves as Indian in the Capital City. Nearly a quarter of the Indian population is under 15, so there’s a youthful energy and vitality to the ancient  cultures which we’ll enjoy today.

Whether you are born in India, come from generations born here, or from elsewhere in the world, we can all share and enjoy each others' culture.

Wellington is eager to build stronger relationships with India, and we see this as a long-term, prosperous relationship.

This is a great opportunity to thank Wellington’s Indian communities for their contribution to this city. Thank you for the academic, business and cultural skills you bring.

And today's an opportunity for Wellingtonians of all backgrounds to have a good time celebrating our city, our people and our diversity.

Happy Diwali!