Dancing, fine food on sunny Diwali evening

With delicious food, traditional dancing, and a broad mixture of cultures, the annual Festival of Lights came to Nelson last night.

Members of the Indian and Bhutanese communities gathered at the Victory Community Centre last night to celebrate Diwali, the Festival of Lights.

The Bhutanese Society of Nelson hosted the event, and president Govinda Regmi said it was a very good time for all.

There was a pot-luck dinner featuring traditional foods, dancing performances, and other entertainment.

"There were lots of Kiwi friends and different people who came, everyone was happy because we had the opportunity to mix with different cultures."

Nelson Multicultural Council co-ordinator Evey McAuliffe said the evening was really fun, with people from a number of countries getting together to celebrate. "Some celebrate Diwali and know all about it, but there were other people there who it was new to."

There was a delicious range of food, from curries to pakoras and dal, she said.

"Nobody went home hungry."

The event also showed the value in having a lot of different age-groups in the community, she said.

"The older people have a lot to offer in terms of passing on cultural heritage and are valued for that."

Holding the celebration in New Zealand did come with one major difference, she said.

"Having it so light in the evenings. Even though it was a festival of light, the great light in the sky was providing all the light."

The Nelson Mail