The Auckland Tamil Association (ATA) hosted its annual Deepavali (Diwali) celebrations at Freemans Bay Community Hall on Sunday, November 5.

The cultural event was attended by leaders of different community organisations such as Kalyan Kasunganti from the Telangana Association of New Zealand, Lingappa Kalburgi from the Kannada Koota, Bhiku  Bhana from the New Zealand Indian Central Association (NZICA).

Members of Parliament, Michael Wood from the Labour Party, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Parmjeet Parmar from the National Party also attended the event at this auspicious occasion.

To commemorate the biggest festival of the Indian community, representatives from the Muthtamil Sangam Wellington, Dunedin Tamil Society and Hamilton Tamil Society also graced the occasion.

The purpose for such a grand event in Auckland was to pass on the heritage and cultural richness of the Indian culture to the next generation of children here and also to celebrate the Diwali in full cultural (Tamil) ethos at a land away from home country.

“The Auckland Tamil Association will continue to promote Tamil language and culture in New Zealand through such big events and hosting activities that engage the community,” President of ATA, Vai Ravindran said.

The event commenced with a number of cultural performances including a Bharatnatyam dance. Both children and elder members of the community participated in the event.

Besides hosting cultural dance performances, ATA also felicitated the achievers who have made the community proud. Mrs Varshini was felicitated for publishing ten books in Tamil, Yugendran Vasudevan for his contribution towards Tamil arts and culture, Vishwa for winning the Best Short Film of the year for the film ‘Inai’ which was produced by ATA, Magesh and Deepan were honoured for leading two different cricket teams supported by ATA.

ATA has supported different initiatives throughout the year that benefits the community largely such as organising cultural events, blood donation camps, cricket, football and badminton tournaments etc.

The event concluded with a dinner served to every visitor to the event.