Residents of Rotorua were treated to a fun-filled evening with music, dance and food as Arasan NZ Trust hosted the Indian Cultural Evening on 14 May at the Harvest Centre.

The event was organised in association with Rotorua Multicultural Council and Bay of Plenty Rotorua Indian Association.

For hundreds of non-Indian visitors, it was a rare chance to experience the Indian culture first-hand with an inspired line up of performances and food.

The event was well-attended with almost the entire Indian community turning up in their best attire. The event was also attended by dignitaries including Her Worship the Mayor of Rotorua, Steve Chadwick, MP Todd McClay and MP Tamati Coffey.

MP Tamati Coffey thoroughly enjoyed the event and posted on his social media handle, “#DIVERSITY … is the spice of life. And tonight I joined the Arasan NZ Trust and our local #ROTORUA Indian Community and Multicultural Rotorua in celebrating that diversity.”

Mayor Chadwick also gave a shoutout to the event, posting, “Together again! A lovely evening of cultural fusion thanks to #DrLuxSelvanesan the Chair of the #ArasanTrust along with the Multi Cultural Association and the #RotoruaIndianAssociation. The Arasan Trust is devoted to preserving the Tamil culture and all Ethnic Communities around the motu.”

It was a vibrant event featuring talented singers and dancers with an outstanding performance by renowned Kiwi-Indian band Moksha Base enthralling the audience with their rendition of classicals, Bollywood and western fusion songs. These included their original compositions as well as various cover numbers.

Arasan NZ Trust chairman Dr Lux Selvanesan said the line-up of the performances was selected carefully to ensure there was something for every taste.

Arasan NZ Trust is a non-profit organisation that strives to connect ethnic communities and to facilitate friendship, understanding and harmony between the diverse communities of New Zealand. The Trust’s activities include various initiatives in the spheres of culture, health, well-being culture, social inclusion and cohesion.

Dr Selvanesan believes that it is crucial to showcase the culture of the various ethnicities so there is awareness and understanding of the culture in the wider communities.

“I believe events like Indian cultural evening bring all the communities together and facilitate bonding and integration of different ethnicities.

Dr Selvanesan also thanked all the partner organisations and volunteers without whom the event would not have been possible.

The event had an entry ticket of $10 which included a lavish dinner spread. All the proceeds went to Shanti Niwas. The event concluded with a lavish spread of Indian cuisines dinner.