The cold winds and the rain didn’t deter the enthusiasm or the upbeat mood of the Diwali celebrations hosted by Counties Manukau Police at the Manukau Police Station second floor car park on Tuesday.
District Commander Superintendent Jill Rogers said that the day that had started off with dark clouds was soon overshadowed by light that truly signifies Diwali, the Festival of Lights.
She spoke about the victory of good over evil that is symbolic of the largest Hindu festival in the world.
The event organised by Sergeant Gurpreet Arora, District Ethnic Services Coordinator and acting Sergeant Satvir Sen was well supported by the Department of Corrections.
Paul Rudkin, district manager Manukau Community Corrections who was dressed in a red turban, said he felt like an Indian prince.
Master of ceremonies Annu Sharma from Corrections kept the tempo upbeat as she introduced Ambika Krishnamoorthy who performed an Indian classical dance, while 10-year-old Radhika Rana entertained everyone with a Bollywood dance.
The highlight though was a folk dance put up by the seniors from Shanti Nivas Charitable Trust that provides culturally-appropriate social support services to senior citizens of Indian and South Asian origin.
Led by Nilima Venkat, the over 70-year-olds were surprisingly agile and nimble on their feet.
The hot Indian vegetarian meal served had everyone queue up on a cold afternoon, including the police, many of whom had henna designs on their hands and were dressed in colourful saris and Indian regalia.