"Festival enhances Hindu-Maori relationsEnhances Hindu-Maori relations - doesn't that sound great?
Press Release: Hindu Council of New Zealand
Deepawali Festival takes Hindu-Maori relations to greater heights
Rotorua Deepawali Festival 2009 turns to be an important milestone for Hindu-Maori relations (whakawhanaungatanga).
A number of Maori cultural traditions such as karakia, powhiri, kapa haka will be performed on Saturday, 7th November 2009 to commemorate Deepawali (Festival of Lights) at Rotorua Energy Events Centre and Apumoana Marae.
Deepawali is a well known Hindu festival celebrated by Indian community all over the world."
“I have great admiration for the people of India. Learning of Dr Guna Magesan's desire to create a strong relationship between his people and my people I have captured "Rehua" to celebrate our journey of friendship” said Natanahira PONA, Rotorua’s Tohunga Whakairo (Master Carver)."Intent is so important
"Conceived in the discipline of studying distant Constellations, Rehua proclaims our shared respect for Nature. It encourages the forging of strong entrepreneurial and personal relationships. It manifests the sacred mantra of Om and the miracle of life and death” said John Marsh, JP, MBE a respected Kaumatua in Rotorua.Building connection between communities and doing it with mutual respect and understanding. What a fantastic model for all of us. Good work by these groups.
The past, present and the future are all included in this one sound - "Om". Carving a symbol of Om and Sun in the Rehua means so much to our community. The Sun is described as the soul of the universe, representing the life-force on earth which sustains everything. His is the energy of confidence and power, consistency and inspiration.
"Last year New Zealand Hindu conference was inaugurated by respected Te Arikinui King Tuheitia, the Maori king. That was a landmark in the history of New Zealand and race relations.As Dr Guna Magesan, the coordinator of Rotorua Deepawali Festival and General Secretary of Hindu Council of New Zealand says,
This year, carving of Rehua for our community is another landmark. This is a big leap in Hindu-Maori relations."
“The respect and relations that we have built over the years have brought us close to the Maori community”.
We have been organising regular Marae stay for our community people to learn, understand and experience Maori culture and customs."Kia kaha and thank you.