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Sunday, April 2, 2023

Media Release – Hindu Council of New Zealand celebrates its Silver Jubilee

Hindu Council of New Zealand Inc. is celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year. It has been serving and strengthening the community for the past 25 years in New Zealand, and it strives for the ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (The world is one large family). The work started in 1996 but the organisation formally registered as an incorporated society on 11 May 2006 with its main office in Rotorua.

As part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, several programs have been planned at different cities in New Zealand. To acknowledge the contribution of volunteers who had pioneered and helped to grow the organisation, Hindu Council has chosen some selected programs from the previous years. These programs not only showcase the achievements but will also bring the good memories and volunteers together.

“We are very excited in celebrating the Silver Jubilee and showcasing our work to the New Zealand public,” said Vinod Kumar, President of Hindu Council of New Zealand.

“This year’s events will bring together the volunteers who have worked over the last 25 years”, he added.

Some selected programs include Rangoli at the Marae, Hindu Māori Hui, Spirituality & Mental Health, Tree Planting, Health for Humanity Yogathon, Raksha Bandhan – Festival of Universal Fellowship & Veneration of Womanhood, Hindu Media workshop, to name a few.

“The selected programs are unique to Aotearoa New Zealand and we are happy to repeat them due to popular demand”, said Dr Guna Magesan, General Secretary of Hindu Council of New Zealand and overall coordinator of Silver Jubilee celebrations.

All these programs will be coordinated by different office bearers of Hindu Council of New Zealand.

The inaugural event will take place in the Apumoana Marae, Rotorua on Saturday, 15 May 2021 in the form of a workshop on Rangoli (Ancient Indian Arts) and Mehndi Moko. The programme will start with the blessings of Māori and Hindu Elders. The Marae program will start with a powhiri (official Māori welcome). The respect and relations that we have built with Māori Elders over the years have brought us close to the Māori culture and community. The Hindu Māori interactions started for the first time in 1997 during the celebrations of Golden Jubilee of India’s Independence in Hamilton. In 2007, Hindu Council started celebrating Matariki, the Māori New Year with zest and enthusiasm. This annual program is now looked after by Hindu Elders Foundation. In 2008, New Zealand Hindu Conference was inaugurated by the Māori King. In 2012, delegation of Māori Elders visited India organised by the Hindu Council office bearers.

This free workshop is open to everyone who is interested but need to register with [email protected]. We are thankful to Rotorua Civic Arts Trust for their generous financial support for Rangoli workshop and Creative Communities NZ Scheme for Mehndi Moko workshop.

Hindu Council of New Zealand had successfully organised a Rangoli workshop in 2007 at the Apumoana Marae with the financial support from the Rotorua Civic Arts Trust. The first Mehndi Moko workshop was organised in 2010 at Te Papaiouru Marae, Ohinemutu Village, during Rotorua Holi Festival. That was possibly the very first time in New Zealand that art forms (Mehndi and Ta Moko) of two cultures were brought together and given birth to a new phrase – Mehndi Moko.

An important outcome of this workshop being held in a Marae will be for our community members, especially youth and students, to have an opportunity to learn, understand and experience Māori culture in Rotorua. The Marae stay is looked after by the Hindu Youth New Zealand and New Zealand Hindu Students Forum. This is organised with the blessings of Hindu and Māori Elders.

We have worked with experienced tutors from Rotorua, Hamilton and Auckland in the past and will do the same this time as well. We will encourage young people from different cities to organise similar programs in their respective cities. This gives an opportunity for our young people to lead community programs in the future.

These creative art workshops will encourage youth (and others) to develop their creative talents; give participants an opportunity to interact with experts; and also provide opportunities for the Rotorua public to experience the coming together of cultures through a unique art event.

For more information, please contact:

Prof Guna Magesan, +64 21 034 5621

(Featured Image Source: FB Page of HCNZ)

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