Aucklanders were treated to a cultural extravaganza as AktivateHub presented three-day-long Diwali Bazaar 2023.

The first-of-its-kind event took place Nov 8-10 at Ormiston Town Centre, turning it into a vibrant hub of celebration, commerce, and downright Diwali dazzle.

Attendees from Albany, Blockhouse Bay, New Lynn, and beyond, travelled more than 25 kilometres to be a part of the event, which was a unique blend of traditional activities and a shopping experience.

Mesmerising live dance performances, pulsating beats of Bollywood music, free henna sessions, engaging activities for kids, and a diverse array of Diwali-related shopping opportunities were the highlights of the event. From traditional clothes and jewellery to delectable mithai and refreshing mango lassi, the event immersed attendees in the cultural richness of the festival.

“Diwali Bazaar was a dream we’ve nurtured, and seeing it come to life in Auckland is truly magical. The response was overwhelming and heartwarming. We aimed to create an immersive experience that celebrates Diwali and brings people together,” shared the event’s organiser, Ashima Kumar.

The organiser revealed the public demand prompted them to extend the event hours on the third day, a testament to the community’s enthusiasm and support.

“Extending the hours was a spontaneous decision driven by the sheer excitement of the attendees and the vendors. It was heartening and a very proud feeling to see families, our audiences and vendors not wanting the celebration to end,” revealed another organiser Dinesh Kumar.

Undoubtedly, these events serve as a bridge, fostering connections within the Indian community and beyond.

“Our event was a platform not just for cultural immersion but also an opportunity for people of different nationalities to explore and appreciate Indian traditions.

“It was our heartfelt desire to bring the essence of Diwali to Auckland. Recognising that many couldn’t travel to India to celebrate the festival with their families, we aimed to create a celebration here that would resonate not only with our own family but with the thousands in Auckland missing the warmth and joy of home during this festive season,” added Ashima.

Pranshi Sharma, a first-time visitor from Albany, said, “I’ve never experienced anything like this before! The dance performances were mesmerising, and the shopping options were fantastic. The energy, the colours, and the diverse offerings–it was an awesome experience.”

The response to Diwali Bazaar 2023 was overwhelming and heartwarming, with sponsors, vendors, and attendees expressing their joy at being part of such a vibrant event.

“The support from the community has been incredible. It’s inspiring to see how much people appreciate the cultural diversity showcased at the Bazaar,” shared another attendee.