Patriotic fervour grips hundreds on Independence Day celebrations at Mahatma Gandhi Centre
India’s uniqueness is reflected through its diverse cultures, music, literature, performing arts and people power. All of it was well amalgamated at a grand celebration of India’s 76th Independence Day at Mahatma Gandhi Centre on Sunday, August 21, 2022
Among the major draws for attendees were cultural performances showcasing ‘unity in diversity’ of the country. Cultural performances, ranging from patriotic songs wearing costumes in colours of the national flag, various classical dance forms to a special Bangra performance by a group from Chandigarh University made it an entertaining event. High Commission of India to New Zealand invited the talented group all the way from India to perform in the beautiful land of Aotearoa.
The event began with flag hoisting, followed by dignitaries addressing the large gathering. Minister of Immigration, Transport and Workplace Relations & Safety Honourable Michael Wood; Minister of Ethnic Community & Volunteer Sector, Diversity, Inclusion & Ethnic Communities, and Youth Honourable Priyanca Radhakrishnan; Auckland City Mayor Phil Goff; Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Associate Minister for Immigration Honourable Phil Twyford; Leader of National Party Christopher Luxon; celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor; Charge d' Affaires a.i. High Commissioner of India in Wellington Shri Mukesh Ghiya; Honorary Consul of India in Auckland Shri Bhav Dhillon; and many other dignitaries graced the occasion with their presence.
Other honourable guests were former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand and Lady Susan Satyanand; former Indian MP honourable Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi; and MPs Chris Penk, Dr Deborah Russell and Dr Anae Neru Leavasa; Auckland Mayoral Candidate Effeso Collins; and senior police officials including Rakesh Naidoo and Jessica Phuang.
Organiser Auckland Indian Diaspora team was elated with the turnout and colourful display of India’s diversity through dance, music and art.
“It was a very exciting day for the community as the celebrations were attended by hundreds. People not only from Auckland but across New Zealand attended the event,” said Jeet Suchdev QSM, Chairperson and Founder of Bhartiya Samaj Charitable Trust. Harshad Patel QSM received a lifetime achievement award for serving the Indian community in Auckland for more than four decades.
The celebrations concluded with a hearty lunch prepared by volunteers of Auckland Indian Association.
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