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These 2 Indian Families Have Kept Their Culture Alive in Timaru City of New Zealand

Registered in 2012, the Cultural Society helps promoting Indian cultural celebrations along with all the diverse communities

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Keeping Hindu Culture Alive
Very few Indian reside in Timaru city, New Zealand. Wikimedia
  • The South Canterbury Indian Cultural Society bagged the award for arts and culture by the Trustpower Timaru District Community Awards
  • Very few Indians live in Timaru but they show cooperation and solidarity when it comes to celebrating Indian festivals
  • Battu and Hari family are an example of the Indians keeping their culture alive in a foreign land

New Zealand, August 23, 2017: In the recent 2017 Trustpower Timaru District Community Awards for New Zealand, South Canterbury Indian Cultural Society bagged the winner’s prize in the arts and culture category. The award recognizes the efforts put in by the Cultural Society to spread its cultural celebrations with the majority of the people.

Post the victory, Timaru Herald’s reporter Rachael Comer visited two humble and welcoming Timaru Indian families. Her purpose was to investigate how miles away from the homeland to a strange land, the families have successfully kept their cultural identity alive.

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The first door that the reporter knocked was the Battu Family. In September 2011, Akhil Battu along with wife Ravinder Battu moved to the Timaru city with their three-month-old daughter. Hailing from Punjab, the Battus resided in Auckland. But after four months, Primeport Timaru offered Akhil a job.

Akhil, who is a marine engineer, has traveled to many parts of the world. For a long time, he had stayed away from home. But now that he has his own family, he chose New Zealand to start a settled life.

The Battus have settled well with their two daughters Mannat and Mehar, who are six and two years old respectively. While the Kiwi lifestyle has been great for the Battu family, the Indian couple has not forgotten their culture.

Their decor of their house is an Indian and New Zealand mix. Many of the items, including the curtains, are Indian.

The couple also dines on Indian cuisine throughout the week. The daughters carry Indian cuisine for school lunch. However, it is not enforced on the children, it is them who love the Indian food. Mannat even shared how her friends at school love her lunch.

The couple also ensures to speak their native language and have explained to the children about the importance of knowing multiple languages. Punjabi is the most preferred language of use at home.

The couple prefers to have a spiritual belief rather than a religious belief. The whole family does meditation on a daily basis. The parents, as well as the kids, watch Indian TV channels. They are also vegetarian.

Mr. Battu admitted that his pay grade in India was better than his job in New Zealand, but he wanted a higher standard of living for his family.

The couple agrees that the few Indians who live in Timaru are extremely cooperative.

Next was the Hari family who had been living for quite some years now in the Timaru City. In 2003, Kashyap Hari hailing from Gujarat, came to Timaru when there very few Indians. Hari worked as a chartered accountant in the same firm as his brother.

He did go back to India in 2008 and went to a function with his parents where young girls and boys could meet. That is where he met his wife, Namrata. The couple got married and came to Timaru.

Namrata expressed her amazement as she recalls how she had never been out of India. She felt different initially but gradually settled.

The couple now live in Timaru with their two children. The Hindu family is strictly religious. Kashyap Hari imported a copper temple from India where the family prays every early morning. The family usually lights a candle while praying.

The family’s favorite food includes dahi, chapati, and rice. The family also celebrates a number of Hindu festivals to keep their culture alive.

The South Canterbury Indian Cultural Society:

Registered in 2012, the Cultural Society helps to promote Indian cultural celebrations along with all the diverse communities. Many Indian festivals such as Holi, Rakhi, Navratri, Diwali etc. are hosted by the Society for all of the New Zealand to enjoy. On the Diwali celebrations, more than 500 visitors come to the event.

Indian hospitality, including singing, dancing and Indian food is exclusive to these events. It is a sincere effort to promote the Hindu culture.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394


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The Best Destinations for a Perfect Travel Experience

Here are some offbeat Indian destinations for backpackers

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Travel destinations
For millennials, travel is not just a means of escaping a busy lifestyle, but an end in itself. Pixabay

Millennials are seekers of wholesome experiences. For them, travel is not just a means of escaping a busy lifestyle, but an end in itself. It’s an essential part of life, not a break away from it.

In sync with the new taste and preferences of young adventure-seekers, the following places are rising up to the occasion by enhancing their travel experiences:

Wayanad- travel
Wayanad is the perfect travel destination for nature-lovers. Pixabay

Aurangabad
An exquisite confluence of history and culture, Aurangabad is home to the renowned Ajanta and Ellora Caves, a lot of old forts, art galleries, and museums. Besides this, the place is a bubbling, simmering pot of a range of dishes that no food-lover can afford to miss.

Mukteshwar
What could be better than mountains and peace? Mukteshwar is the stuff that a nature lover’s dreams are made of. It is the perfect place to chill alongside Nature within the folds of mighty mountains while enjoying the soul-soothing embrace of sunlight and the skin-tingling kiss of wintry waft. Mukteshwar is less than an eight-hour drive from Delhi, making it one of the closest hill stations to the Capital.

Wayanad
Wayanad is another treat for nature-lovers who also seek unique cultural experiences. Situated at a distance of 76 kilometers from the beaches of Kozhikode, the region is popular among backpackers on account of its near-perfect weather and scenic setting punctuated with dams, lakes, and hike trails. The town paints a quaint and soothing picture with the lush green of mountainous plateaus, picturesque jungles, and idyllic valleys dominating. Squatting atop the Western Ghats and enclosing part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Wayanad is not considered the most beautiful district in Kerala in vain.

Alleppey- travel
Alleppey is a famous travel destination known for its backwaters and houseboats. Pixabay

Pokhara
Pokhara is often called the tourism capital of Nepal – and it is not in vain that it has received this moniker. It serves as a gateway to the renowned Annapurna Circuit, is among the most exciting paragliding destinations the world over, and offers the entrancing sight of the beautiful lake framed by sky-piercing mountains. What crystallizes its reputation as the ultimate ‘Adventure Land of Nepal’ is that it cuts a less busy version of Kathmandu while holding on its own as a must-visit backpacker’s paradise.

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Alleppey
It is only when one has explored the intricate network of waterways which can only have been knitted by Mother Chaos that one realizes that the tag ‘Venice of the East’ does Alleppey injustice. Perpetually carrying the fascinating look of a forest having just emerged from a spell of rain, the region is famous for its toddy shops, punted boats, coir industry, paddy fields, the floating villages, and houseboats! (IANS)