Business: Over 1,000 attend Canterbury's 1st Indian Women Expo

Canterbury was put on the national map this weekend with the successful organisation of the first-ever Indian Women Expo in Christchurch. The six-hour long event, which had 47 stalls divided into nine zones, saw almost 1,000 people attending with several ministers and MPs including Amy Adams, Nicky Wagner, Parmjeet Parmar, and Ruth Dyson.

An initiative of the Canterbury Indian Women Group (CIWG) – established on March 8, the International Women Day – the Expo provided a platform to Indian women for showcasing their skills, talents, and successes in different spheres including business, art, culture, education, health and well-being.

“When we started thinking about organising such an event few months back, we never imagined we would get such an overwhelming positive response from the Indian and wider community. Chances are that it might become a regular annual affair on the Christchurch's events calendar,” said Archna Tandon, founder of CIWG and the main brain behind the Expo.

Informing about the goals of CIWG, she added, “Our vision is to help Indian women and their families maintain cultural values, promote health and well-being and collaborate to share knowledge and information for mutual support, capacity building and empowerment.”

Going by the idea of having something for everybody, the Expo's nine different zones were Beauty, Cuisine, Fashion, Home Decor, Art and Culture, Business, Education, Health and Information.

An obvious hit among these was the Henna Body Art. “This is my first time experiencing the beauty of heena. Though similar to tattooing, the patterns are quite different and pretty,” said Michelle Karmer, an American studying in the University of Canterbury.

Other attractions included - in the Fashion Zone, Punjabi juttis; in Home Decor, Rencontres Blings which specialises in scented soy candles; in Art and Culture, the Lincoln University Dance Club and Bharatnatyam Group of Christchurch; in Health Zone, Pegasus Health, Art of Living, Reiki; in Education, Ara Institute of Technology; as well as Christchurch Resettlement Services and Citizen Advice Bureau, in the Information Zone.