The Wintec International Student Support team hosted fun, vibrant and diverse Diwali celebrations at the Wintec City and Rotokauri campuses, which included music, dance, henna, diya painting and traditional Diwali food and sweets.
Diwali is an important and ancient Indian festival celebrated throughout India and in Indian communities around the world. Known as ‘The Festival of Lights’, Diwali signifies the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil and the renewal of life.
Unmesha Veetil, Wintec International Student Services Advisor, said students and staff thoroughly enjoyed the festivities. “It was such a wonderful, diverse and inclusive Diwali celebration, with students, both international and domestic, from many different centres, and diverse cultures and nationalities, participating and joining in the celebrations,” she said.
Indian festivals are not complete without music and dance and the traditional dance was a real highlight. “Our international students’ dances were truly the epitome of this colourful and vibrant celebration. It took our dancers weeks of practice and managing their studies and other work to make the day such a memorable celebration for all of us,” said Unmesha.
Performing at the festivities were both international and domestic students from the Centre for Health and Social Practice (CHASP), as well as family members of the students.
Other highlights of the celebrations were the Henna body art, or Mehendi. Afghani students from Wintec’s Centre of Languages (CFL) did an incredible job of adorning students with henna, a natural dye, and creating beautiful temporary body art. Henna is regarded as auspicious and symbolises positive spirits and good luck.
Students also got the chance to show off their own creative sides by decorating diyas, small clay bowls/pots used to hold lights for the Festival of Lights.
Of course, all Indian celebrations and festivals are about sharing food and happiness, and this one was no exception, with delicious samosas, pakoras (veggie fritters) and motichur ladoo (Indian sweet) on offer for people to enjoy, some for the first time.