Festivals: Victory of good over evil

- at Dussehra [marking Lord Rama's killing of the demon Ravana] celebrations by the Canterbury Nepalese Society and the Nepal New Zealand Friendship Society of Canterbury

The camaraderie that Nepali people and Kiwis share - which started in 1953 when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay summited Sagarmatha (or Mt Everest as it is known outside Nepal) – was on full display the last weekend during the City's Dussehra celebrations.

Organised by the Canterbury Nepalese Society (CNS) and supported by over 350 people, the chief quests at the function were Central Government minister Nicky Wagner and Labour MP Megan Woods, who both noted in their speeches the love for mountains that Nepalis and Kiwis share.

Bishnu Pokhrel, President of CNS said, “Vijayadashami or Dussehra is the most important event in the Nepalese Hindu calendar and we are very proud to be able to share our culture and tradition with the wider community. That's why, to make it more appealing to everyone, we also had more than 10 song and dance performances as well as few comedy sketches as part of the celebrations today.”

Patric O' Connor, Director, Pasifica Education and Employment Training Organisation – a City-based multicultural learning centre – while addressing the gathering noted, “Nepal is a country that prospered with the blessing of the great Himalayas. And lots of my Nepalis friends miss their mountains when they move to New Zealand. To them I have this to say. I know you left Sagarmatha behind. But here we have Aoraki (Mount Cook), which belongs to you as much as it belongs to us Kiwis.”

Another function was organised separately by the Nepal New Zealand Friendship Society of Canterbury (NNZFSC), which is an annual event. It was a day-long fiesta with hundreds of Nepalese participating in various cultural and fun filled events at Arunai Community Centre. There were games such as dice, ring games, kite flying competition, followed by cultural performances and authentic Nepalese cuisine.