Diwali open to community

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 10:42 09/11/2012
Vishal Sharma and Saroj Kumar
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
CHANCE TO SHARE: Bombay Palace owner Saroj Kumar, right, and Radio Southland Music Mantra host Vishal Sharma prepare for the Diwali festival.

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Invercargill's Indian community is preparing to celebrate Diwali - a religious holiday - and is inviting the rest of the community to join them.

Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is the equivalent of Christmas for many Indians living in New Zealand. The five-day festival features candles, traditional sweets, family visits and dancing.

Radio Southland Music Mantra host Vishal Sharma said Bombay Palace would host a night of Indian culture, food and music tomorrow.

Diwali was a very important event in the Hindu calendar and marked significant religious events, Mr Sharma said.

The festivities planned for Invercargill would feature the lighting of traditional candles, plenty of food and cultural performances.

"There is a growing Indian population in Southland and festivals like Diwali give the rest of the community the opportunity to share in the culture Indian people bring to the region," he said.

Bombay Palace owner Saroj Kumar said Diwali had been embraced in other New Zealand cities and it would be good to develop a cultural event in Invercargill.

"This will be a great chance to give Invercargill and Southland a taste of Indian food and culture in a relaxed environment," he said.

Diwali will be celebrated at Bombay Palace on Saturday night from 8pm with bookings essential.

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- The Southland Times

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