Diwali and Annakut Festivals were hosted in New Zealand Parliament on November 5, 2019 by BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Sanstha, Auckland.
Among the guests were Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, Ethnic Communities Minister Jenny Salesa, Members of Parliament Michael Wood, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Indian High Commissioner Muktesh Pardeshi.
Diwali and Annakut festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, and to spread the messages of love, peace and harmony.
Annakut is a Divine offering of food items as an expression of gratitude.
The event began with the lighting of the Traditional Lamp, followed by recitation of hymns.
Mr Pardeshi said that the event symbolised New Zealand’s “tremendous respect for India, its cultural heritage and contributions made by the Indian community to this country for more than 100 years.”
Mr Wood said, “What is really important about today’s event is that we are celebrating Diwali and Annakut at the heart of New Zealand’s democracy, in the Great Hall of Parliament, and to me that tells a story about how the Kiwi Indian community has come to the heart of society.”
Among the other speakers were Mr Lees-Galloway, Mr Bakshi and Ms Radhakrishnan.
Krupa Patel was the Master of Ceremonies and the Coordinators of the event from BAPS were Manoj Dahiya and his team.
About BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha
BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha has temples in Auckland, Rotorua and Christchurch, with plans for a new Temple in Wellington. BAPS has temples all over the world and Mahant Swami Maharaj, the current spiritual Head, visited New Zealand in February 2018.
Ragavan Rengachariar is Hindu Religious Correspondent of Indian Newslink. He lives in Auckland. Pictures Supplied by BAPS.