Hindu Youth New Zealand (HYNZ) held its first event for the year with Holi Festival 2023. Almost 200 people participated in the festivities which took place at the Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam Temple, Mangere, Auckland. The purpose of the event was to bring together New Zealand’s diverse communities; strengthening of race relations and highlighting the vibrancy of our communities.
Over the last decade, HYNZ has been engaging with numerous organisations, temples and associations throughout New Zealand. For Holi Festival 2023, HYNZ collaborated with Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam Temple to bring this celebration to Aucklanders. Participants of all ages celebrated with much fanfare by covering each other with coloured powder and water, dancing to folk music and songs and enjoying delicious Indian cuisine.
“The aim of the event was not only to bring our diverse Hindu communities of Auckland together but bringing together everyone from different faith backgrounds. Taking a step back on the day and observing everyone coming together reaffirmed the diversity and inclusiveness this event promoted,” said Murali Krishna Magesan, President, Hindu Youth New Zealand.
After Deepawali, Holi is one of the most significant festivals for Hindus. Observed since ancient times, the Festival of Colours, symbolises the victory of good over evil, the arrival of Spring and glorifies the fertility of the land. The coinciding Race Relations Day in Aotearoa adds a unique dimension to Holi celebrations in New Zealand.
“When we only focus on our differences, we are unable to look beyond conflicts. However, when we put our energy and focus on bringing the community together, our diversity becomes our collective strength” said Sushmita Mishra, Holi Festival 2023 Coordinator, Hindu Youth New Zealand.
The mixing of colours signifies the coming together of people from different communities and backgrounds. Many participants congratulated the young volunteers for bringing this festival to the community. This family-friendly event had free entry, was smoke-free, alcohol-free, meat-free and was open to the New Zealand public.
“We were pleased to see people from various faiths, ethnic backgrounds and cultures come together to celebrate this festival at a Hindu Mandir” said Mr Magesan. “The leadership that Thiru Subramaniyar Aalayam Temple has shown, to help foster social cohesion, is truly commendable” he added.
Hindu Youth New Zealand is a youth-led organisation that helps in developing young leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through capability and capacity building initiatives, such as national conferences, workshops, webinars, cultural events, and mentorship programmes, young people are supported to reach their potential and have an opportunity to contribute to the wider New Zealand society.