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Feasting, dancing, unity at Christchurch Lohri Mela

The 5th Annual Christchurch Lohri Mela was a testament to the spirit of community, unity, and cultural pride that binds the Indian diaspora in Christchurch together. 

La Vida Centre witnessed a kaleidoscope of colours and cultural richness on January 27. Drawing more than 700 attendees, the event organised by IndianNZ Association of Christchurch Inc. radiated with a lively atmosphere, cultural performances, and shared moments of joy.

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Parminder Kaur, Chair of the IndianNZ Association of Christchurch Inc., set the tone for the evening by warmly welcoming all guests while expressing heartfelt gratitude to the event sponsors for their generous support. The event was powered by NZ Mortgages, South Island’s biggest mortgage advisors, among others. 

The ceremonial candle lighting, a symbol of new beginnings and prosperity, was a momentous occasion led by the chief guest, Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand Neeta Bhushan, accompanied by Duncan Webb, MP for Christchurch Central; and Candy Zhang from the Ministry for Ethnic Communities. 

A heartwarming highlight of the evening was the inaugural Lohri celebrations for newborns and newlyweds, symbolising hope, joy, and the promise of new beginnings. The tradition, steeped in cultural significance, brought families together in a spirit of unity and celebration.

Gurvinder Singh, Secretary of Indian NZ Association Of Christchurch Inc., shared, "It's a beautiful tradition that brings our community closer together. Celebrating the first Lohri of newborns and newlyweds fills our hearts with joy. Thirty first Lohri celebrations of newborns and newly married were registered, and they received special gifts from us.

The event came alive with captivating cultural performances that enthralled the audience and transported them to the heart of India. Dancers swirled in vibrant hues, musicians played soulful melodies, and the air was filled with infectious energy.

"The performances were simply mesmerising. It's incredible to see the depth and diversity of Indian culture showcased here tonight," remarked an attendee.

No Indian celebration is complete without a feast, and the Christchurch Lohri Mela did not disappoint. Attendees were treated to a gastronomic journey of authentic Indian flavours - from savoury delicacies to sweet treats.

As the festivities drew to a close, the launch of the Selwyn Holi-Festival of Colors poster added an exciting twist to the evening. Guests and sponsors joined in the unveiling, marking the beginning of another vibrant cultural celebration set to captivate the community on March 10 at Helpet Park in Rolleston, Selwyn, for the first time, at the request of the local Indian community.

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