With recent news reports indicating that more and more Indians are immigrating to New Zealand on partnership-based visas, Christchurch held its biggest ever Karva Chauth celebrations the past weekend.

The newly launched IndianNZ Association of Christchurch (INZAC) and Canterbury Indian Women Group (CIWG) organised the celebrations on October 7, at the Te Hapua Halswell Centre, which witnessed a live DJ, delicious food stalls, henna art and several cultural performances, including the gidhha dance by Virsa Blaster dance team. This was followed by the Vrat Pooja at Hare Krishna Centre Christchurch, the following day.

Karva Chauth – a festival celebrated mainly in north India where married women fast, not even drinking water, from sunrise to moonrise for the safety and prolonged life of their husbands – is essentially a community event.

“That’s why it was wonderful that around 90 women attended the Vrat Puja this time. We all felt blessed at our newly rebuilt Hare Krishna temple as it was our original venue for pooja pre-earthquake. Starting small, our celebrations have grown over the years. With more and more people getting aware of it, we had pre Karwa Chauth celebration for the first time this year,” said Archna Tandon, chairperson of CIWG.

Parminder Kaur, Chairwoman of INZAC, added, “We were delighted to have Duncan Webb, newly-elected Labour MP for Christchurch Central as our chief guest on October 7. It was INZAC’s first cultural event in partnership with CIWG, which was appreciated by one and all, for which I am very grateful.”