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Volunteers sweat out for Auckland Diwali festival

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Nearly 120 volunteers applied to help Auckland celebrate Diwali this year; just 39 were selected. The oldest is 60 years old, the youngest only 16. Some of these volunteers will lend their experience gained from their volunteering work last year at the one of the world’s largest sporting events – the Rugby World Cup.

Auckland set to turn into little India – Auckland’s Diwali festival is just over a week away.  The programme starts at 12 noon on Saturday 13 October and concludes with a fireworks display on Sunday night at 9.15pm.

Illuminated strawberries, tamarillos, grapes, blood oranges and pomegranate, traditional halva and pistachios – that’s just one innovative dish on the menu as restaurants rise to the challenge of creating a unique vegetarian dish to celebrate Auckland Diwali Festival.

Clooney, Vinnies and Wine Chambers are among 15 restaurants taking part in Diwali Taste on a Plate food challenge and all participating restaurants will feature the Diwali Taste on a Plate dishes until 13 November.

Another highlight is the Diwali Delights programme at AUT’s Manukau Campus which is free and includes a Photographic Exhibition entitled Rivers of Colour, by leading Dunedin photographer John Cosgrove.

Also, a 15-member Gujarati dance group Rangashree joins the international line up to perform on the Aotea Stage at the Diwali Festival.

Established in 1998, the Rangashree School of Fine Arts is a Public Charitable Trust based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat to promote Indian art and culture while maintaining the spirit of India’s dance traditions.

At the same time, real estate agents Barfoot & Thompson are challenging Auckland residents to decorate their house Diwali style in celebration of this year’s two day event. Barfoot & Thompson CEO Peter Thompson will be part of the festival judging panel.

“This competition is a way for people to embrace the Diwali Festival celebrations, have some fun decorating their homes with the chance to win a prize for it. We’re proud to continue to be supporting this great event” says Peter.

Teams from many organisations have come together to make this festival bigger and diverse than earlier years.  Eric Ngan is one of the event producers who has been living and breathing the 2012 Festival since he and his team began planning in April this year.

Festivals are really complex projects, says Eric. “Your aim is to align and energise multiple work streams, artforms, logistics, stakeholders, departments, organisations, stallholders, sponsors and performers, all together on the same day to create an exciting event for the public.”

Auckland Diwali Festival Programme

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