Report by: Natalie Fernandes | Photos: Wilfred DSouza
New Zealand, July 11, 2016: Away from home and loved ones, members of the small Indian community from various faiths from across the New Plymouth district of New Zealand came together at St. Andrew’s church hall on Saturday 9th July to celebrateEid-ul-Fitr " the festival of breaking of the fast”which was organised by NEW PLYMOUTH INDIAN COMMUNITY - NPIC.
The people gathered for the first programme after the installation of the new office bearers were extremely happy to be inspired by the day’s events.
The newly elected office bearers with Narayanan as the president welcomed everyone and spoke about the association which was set up with the intention to provide a platform to the Indian community around the district to organize events and get together on festive and other occasions & to promote cultural understanding and relations between Indians and other nationalities in the region. He further assured that he and his team intend to organize monthly programmes based on the festivals and events of the Indian calendar and requested the co-operation & support of the community.
Eid was celebrated with great enthusiasm in the evening and Yusuf Khan, a member of the association explained the significance of EID-UL-FITR which literally means ’festival of breaking the fast’ to celebrate the conclusion of Ramzan, the month of fasting, which he stated is not merely restraining oneself from having food but also to abstain from all kinds of evil and unlawful practices in Islam. He further continued that many Muslims believe that fasting reminds a sense of responsibility within themselves and that the month long fasting ends with the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr that symbolizes a reward for their fasting and concluded that the celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr not only has religious essence but also carries a social connotation.
The second part of the programme was a festive dinner and KHEER competition. The association has members from different states and the judges enjoyed the KHEER taste of the different states of India prepared from various healthy and mouth-watering ingredients. The programme was followed by indoor games and quiz.
AnuKuttyandMiss Taranaki - Valentine Fernandes, the only contestant of Indian origin for Miss World New Zealand 2016 who won 3 awardsMiss Exotic Beauty / Runner up in Beauty with a Purpose / Best Dancer of Origin 2016 at Miss World New Zealand finals last monthconducted the games for the kids & adults and Wilfred DSouza conducted the quiz in which many actively participated.
The winner of Kheer competition was GeethaKutty, a distinguished social worker who was recognised by New Plymouth district council for her voluntary efforts to help migrants settle in New Zealand and was recently conferred the prestigious Citizens Award for her commitment and dedication to New Plymouth community was felicitated on this occasion. It is learnt that she was one among the twelve of New Plymouth’s most worthy citizens to have been honoured by the New Plymouth district council for the work they are doing for the community.
The programme concluded with distribution of prizes for the games conducted. The Secretary of NPICNatalie Fernandes compered the programme and Bevinda Dias gave the vote of thanks.
The celebration of Eid-ul-Fitr is no-doubt perks up the spirit inherent in all the festivity. The significance of this festival is also interpreted as a good time to bring people together in harmony and gratitude which was seen among the Indians gathered.