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Maharashtrian Boost For Auckland World Of Cultures Festival

World of Cultures is being organised by Auckland Council from March 23 to April 14.

Auckland's diverse communities are gearing up to showcase the richness of their cultures in the upcoming World of Cultures festival, an extravaganza spanning three weeks across the city.

The multicultural festivities from March 23 to April 14, 2024, organised by Auckland Council promise an array of more than 70 free or low-cost activities and events that celebrate the vibrant tapestry of the city and its people.

From Korean kimchi classes to donning authentic Thai attire and immersing oneself in the essence of Thai culture, the festival invites participants to embark on a journey of cultural discovery. 



Kiwi-Indian Anju Desai is championing the Indian showcase at the festival. The Maharashtrian who moved to New Zealand 24 years ago is organising six events, some of which put the spotlight on Indian culture.

You can find her at the Ayurvedic workshop on healing with spices—a testament to her deep-rooted connection to her Indian heritage. Drawing on her familial knowledge of Ayurveda, Anju has been conducting these workshops for over a decade, offering participants insights into holistic health and wellness practices.

Anju Desai Profile PhotoAnju Desai. (Supplied photo)

She is also organising a teaching workshop on Indian street food on March 27, where she will be taking participants on a culinary journey through the nooks and corners of Mumbai. 

“People have already booked slots for this event. I have already provided participants a list of spices for cooking at the workshop,” Anju says. 

She is also involved in putting together a Bollywood dance workshop, a women’s forum, an art exhibition and a world cultural fashion show.

World of Cultures is expected to be a multicultural celebration. Kicking off the festivities is the ‘Celebrating Cultures in Howick’ event on March 23 featuring dance performances, culinary delights, bustling stalls, and engaging workshops. 

For sports enthusiasts and those seeking a sense of global unity, FootballFest in Māngere East on April 13 is not to be missed. As teams representing nations from across the globe take to the field, spectators can cheer on their favorites while reveling in the shared joy of sport.

Meanwhile, Freemans Bay beckons families and friends to join in the Play Festival on April 6. Traditional games, music, and culinary delights from myriad cultures await tamariki and adults alike, offering a day of fun and discovery.

Culminating the festivities is the grand finale: Mt Roskill War Memorial Park's annual CultureFest on April 14, where more than 70 communities and cultures converge in a celebration of colorful performances, cultural music, traditional and contemporary dance, enlightening discussions, and mouthwatering cuisines.

For Anju, the World of Cultures celebration is not merely about showcasing her own culture but also about fostering understanding and appreciation for cultures from around the globe. 

Reflecting on her journey, Anju shares her motivation for spearheading these cultural initiatives. "I do this because when I started, I wasn't 100% sure this is what I want to do," she says. 

"But seeing the impact it has on people—especially migrants who find solace and pride in their cultural identity—that’s what keeps me going."

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