Chilean Independence Day is always celebrated in Chile on September 18, and marks the date when the Chilean people declared independence from Spain. The Chilean War of Independence was a war between pro-independence Chilean criollos seeking political and economic independence from Spain and royalist criollos supporting continued allegiance to the Captaincy General of Chile and membership of the Spanish Empire.
The Mexican War of Independence (Spanish: Guerra de Independencia de México) was an armed conflict, and the culmination of a political and social process which ended the rule of Spain in 1821 in the territory of New Spain. The war had its antecedent in Napoleon's French invasion of Spain in 1808; it extended from the Cry of Dolores by Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla on September 16, 1810, to the entrance of the Army of the Three Guarantees led by Agustín de Iturbide to Mexico City on September 27, 1821.
The Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple has been part of the Christchurch landscape for over 25 years. In its current location for the past 10, the temple provides an amazing space where people from every culture come to share experiences, learn new things, and maximise the joy from there life. The building is designed around the Longmen Grottos in China, a place were there is over 10,000 Buddhist Statues carved throughout an intricate network of caves.
The event was World Refugee Day held on July 1. It was an amazing evening, and the hall was jam packed. There was standing room only. While we were expecting 250, almost 550 people came. Most of the former refugees settled in the city came. There were 12 cultural times followed by a multicultural fashion show. This included performance by a sufi group in the city, Indian, Irish and Chinese dancing, Japanese drumming, and a kapa haka.
Volunteers from Jannah Road Charity Op Shop, which is "New Zealand's first Islamic Op Shop committed to supporting local Muslim communities", at Auckland's Eid'ul Adha celebrations on August 22. The charity also runs a hajj sponsership project, says Denit, the founder, who herself immigrated from Turkey.
This years Vietnam Veterans Day was held on Saturday, August 18, in the Papanui RSA club with about fifty members and guests attended. The ceremony started with the parade of Vietnam veterans. The Piper played while representatives of various sections of NZ troops laid the wreaths. This was followed by other participants laying poppies. The bugler played “The Last Post”. I gave a speech, presenting the view of a Vietnamese who had lived through Vietnam war.
Auckland War Memorial Museum in partnership with Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki presented the Cultural Festival 2018, a celebration of the vibrant art and culture of Auckland’s local Asian Communities, during the weekend of 25 – 26 August.
Kiwi-Pakistanis all across the country came together last week to celebrate the country’s Independence Day, which falls on August 14, every year. The celebrations kicked off in Auckland on August 19, with the Pakistan Association of New Zealand (PANZ), organising a day-long event at the King’s College in Otahuhu. There were cultural stalls showcasing Pakistani culture, and few cultural performances including the bhangra.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary to the Minister for Ethnic Communities and MP for Mt Roskill Michael Wood has come out in support of the Deputy Prime Minister's recent remarks on multiculturalism saying, “I have heard Mr Peters recently talking about forging a New Zealand identity. A unique Kiwi identity, if you will.”
India is known for its unity in diversity. A mini-Europe, sort of, with hundreds of languages spoken, every prominent religion practised, and cuisine and culture differing from region to region. That’s why when Indians move abroad, even while forming pan-Indian identity denoting associations, region-specific organisations are also very common. Like in Auckland, while there’s a New Zealand Indian Central Association, but there’s a Tamil Association as well.
Organised by three community organisations, the Eid Carnival held in Christchurch on June 16, at the Lincoln Events Centre, was a huge success. The evening event, which culminated with the end of Ramadan, was made possible by the tireless efforts of volunteers and office bearers of the Canterbury Muslim Community Trust (CMCT), Muslim Association of Canterbury (MAC), and National Islamic Sister Assembly (NISA).
"I absolutely despise the word assimilation. I think it should be consigned to the dustbins of history. A similar such word is tolerance. These words inherently mean that there is one preferred way of doing things, and everyone should adhere to that. Among developed nations, France is the only one, which went on the path of assimilation due to its cultural arrogance and it’s been an absolute failure there. What we should do instead, is integration and acceptance. A rather simplistic analogy is that of a soup and fried rice. In a soup, you can’t taste the ingredients separately, which is possible in fried rice. I want our New Zealand society to be like fried rice."
TasiNZ, or the Telugu Association of South Island New Zealand, an informal group in existence since 2006, celebrated Ugadi - the Telugu New Year in Christchurch last month. Ugadi, as it is called in the Deccan region of India, marks the commencement of the Hindu New Year by recognising a change in the lunar orbit. (picture credit: TasiNZ)
The Zimbabwean community in Canterbury celebrated their 37th Independence Day on April 22. Zimbabwe attained its independence from Britain on April 18, 1980. Since then it has been a very important day in the calendar of Zimbabwe. To mark this day, the Zimbabwean community in Canterbury came together to reflect on the journey of the country so far. The occasionwas well attended by Zimbabweans as well asother invited international communities in Christchurch. The ceremony was officially opened with a karakia by Maori elder, Sally Pitama followed by our guest speaker, Hilton Chaza, who chronicled the history of Zimbabwe and the struggle that culminated in attainment of independence. Entertainment was provided by the the Chitongo African Band which mesmerized the crowd with their traditional beat from the heart of Zimbabwe.
One of the most sacred Buddhist festivals in the world, celebrating the birth, along with commemorating the enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha, which falls on May 3, this year, was celebrated in Christchurch on April 22. The event was co-organised by the Buddha's Light International Association (BLIA) South Island NZ and Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Temple (FGSBT) South Island, which reopened its door late last year after four years of intensive earthquake repairs. It was also the temple's 10th year of establishment, causing the celebrations to be bigger than usual.
Formed in 1998 The Canterbury Shetland and Orkney Society is a friendly network and social hub for interested locals and Island descendants. We have about 120 members and we meet every two months for social outings and to celebrate festivals such as ‘Up Helly Aa’ (www.uphellyaa.org/) held on the last Tuesday in January, by singing the three Viking songs and carrying out a ‘Galley-Burning,’and playing such Viking games as Kubb.
Eric Chuah, former head of migrant banking with ANZ, has launched Cultural Connections, New Zealand’s first social enterprise to specialise in researching migrants, is calling all migrants to join its research panels and in doing so help the country’s multicultural community groups flourish.
The Indian Social and Cultural Club (ISCC) – a Christchurch-based social and cultural organisation, in its recently held AGM has elected a new 20-member strong executive committee to oversee the Club’s initiatives in its 20th anniversary year. Formed in 1997, the Club is known for organising the biggest Diwali festival in the South Island every year.
He was speaking in reference to a report published in Christchurch's The Press on March 31 - "Crash victims were newcomers to NZ". The story also appeared a day earlier on stuff.co.nz. The story referred to a fatal crash that took place on March 28 near Culverden in which two Indian boys were killed. "The police have told us that the investigation will take about a month to complete. Even the report in The Press mentions 'Police said an investigation into the crash was ongoing'. Inspite of this, the report adds 'It is understood they had driven onto the wrong side of the road'. This, we believe places the blame on the Indian boys even before the crash investigations are complete, which might have implications regarding insurance claims. I have sought clarification from The Press regarding this," Clark said.
The Christchurch Fiji Association (Cfcessa) organised a Fiji-style holi last Sunday with over 100 people attending from the community. While exchanging sweets, applying colours and doing karaoke were all part of the celebrations, the highlight was the Faag mandalis, which sang faag (holi-related folk songs) – a Fiji tradition – late into the evening. Vinesh Prakash, secretary of the Association noted, “Our coordinator for this event was Virendra Prasad, who did a great job. Back home, we have this tradition where we sing holi-related folk songs on the full-moon night holika is set on fire. This is also carried on the next morning during dhuleti when all of us play with colours. During that day, the faag mandalis also visit homes of friends and relatives, exchanging sweets, applying colours and playing music.”
Schools that participated included Haeata Community Campus, Middleton Grange School, Avonside Girls' High School, Hornby High School, Ashburton College, Cashmere High School, Papanui High School, St Thomas' of Canterbury College, Shirley Boys' High SChool, Riccarton High School, Marlborough Boys' College, Marlborough Girls' College, Burnside High School, Marian College, St Bedes' College, Linwood College, Villa Maria College and Christchurch Girls' High School, and Catholic Cathedral College.
“The great thing about Culture Galore is that the community takes ownership of the festival. It's another indication that Christchurch is embracing diversity. In addition to some good initiatives already in place such as the adoption of Christchurch Multicultural Strategy by the City council, we need more cross-cultural exchanges, especially on medium such as the Plains FM radio. With regards to Culture Galore itself, we would like to have more involvement of the Pacifika community and make the event more interactive for the audiences in the future.” - Nicki Reece, Station Manager, Plains FM, Christchurch, talking about Culture Galore and Plains FM
At a function held recently at the Selwyn District Council (SDC) headquarters in Rolleston, the members of the organising committee of the inaugural Selwyn multicultural festival, called CultureFest, which was held in October last year, were appreciated for their contributions to its success. SDC CEO David Ward and Chairman, Rolleston's 150th Anniversary Celebration Committee, Councillor Jeff Bland, presented the team members with the certificates of appreciation and copies of the special booklet prepared to commemorate the Rolleston's milestone. The team members included Dave Tippett (SDC), Surinder Tandon (Rotary Club of Lincoln and Christchurch Multicultural Council - CMC), Archna Tandon (CMC), Kevin Park (Canterbury Migrants Centre), Rachael Inch (SDC), and Joyce Davey (Rolleston Newcomers Network).
The University of Canterbury Iranian Society celebrated Nowruz - Persian New Year, on March 18, with the evening including poetry recitation, traditional Persian folk dance and music, and Iranian delicacies. Celebrated beyond Iranian borders, the Persian New Year, whose actual date is March 21, this year, is observed on Northern hemisphere's spring equinox. This is year number 1396 as per the Persian calendar.
Hosted by the Japanese Society of Canterbury and co-hosted by the Consular Office of Japan in Christchurch, with sponsorship form the Christchurch City Council, the annual Canterbury Japan Day proved to be a hit with all age-groups, with kids especially liking the Hina dolls retroduced this year. Thousands attended the event held on March 5.
Being organised annually since 2014 by Revel Events - a Christchurch based event management company – this year's Christchurch Holi – the Indian festival of colours, was the biggest and grandest. Attended by over 6,000 people, the free event was supported by Christchurch Multicultural Council (CMC), the Christchurch City Council, Christchurch's new Crown company Otakaro Limited, and Fletcher Living. Another principal sponsor was Yogiji's Food Mart, which supplied colours for the celebrations.
Richard Edmundson, Principal, Linwood College, noted, "This is the first time we are doing this, and with the response we have got, I am sure, the Festival of Nations will now be a permanent fixture in our College's annual calendar. Linwood College is, if not the most, then certainly one of the most multicultural colleges in the City. This is a celebration of that diveristy. If all schools in Christchurch can come together and organise something like this, it would be even better."
The Canterbury Migrants Centre in collaboration with Christchurch City Libraries and Christchurch City Council celebrated the Lunar New Year Family Fun Day on February 4 at the Halswell Centre. Apart from performances by the Qiao Yi Lion Dance Team and Kids Tibetan group dance, the day also witnessed a tea ceremony, Chinese Shuttecock (Jianzi), Chinese yo-yo, and Year of the Rooster arts and crafts.
On December 3, 2016, Christchurch's annual Korean culture festival titled“Taste of Korea” was held at the City's Cathedral Square. Organised by the Korean Society of Christchurch, the K-Culture Festival is a good example of a migrant community sharing its unique culture with the local society as a way to maintain its roots and celebrate diversity and co-existence. This year’s event included a special guest performance from Seoul – The International Youth Arts Troupe – along with the traditional performances put on by members of the local Korean community to offer audiences a tantalising taste of Korean culture.