Monday October 23, 2017
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Thousands flock to New Zealand for Diwali celebrations

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Wellington: Thousands of people flocked to Auckland on Sunday to get a first-hand experience of traditional-cum-contemporary Indian culture in a celebration of the Diwali festival, a media report said.

The two-day Diwali celebrations concluded at the Queen St’s Aotea Square with a fireworks finale on Sunday night and included events like workshops, live dance, music, puppet and theatre performances, New Zealand Herald reported.

The event is the largest vegetarian festival in the city and recorded a footfall of 35,000 people last year.

The event was organised by Auckland Council’s Tourism, Events and Economic Development arm in collaboration with the Asia New Zealand Foundation.

The celebrations were spiced up by the availability of traditional food while arts and crafts and dancing gave an insight into the multi-hued Indian culture.

The festival had more than 60 food and craft stalls — the largest in the festival’s 14-year history.

Many Indian performers, including Indian puppeteer and master storyteller Mahipat Kavi, and Mudra Creation — a Lavani folk dance group from Maharashtra, performed at the event.

Other highlights included a ‘bhangra’ (Punjab folk dance) performance by a group of policemen (and a woman). The dance was coordinated by New Zealand’s first Indian female police officer Mandeep Kaur.

Smita Upadhye, an India-born Auckland-based contemporary artist, supervised the colourful, geometric ‘rangoli’ patterns at the kids’ rangoli workshops.

“It is especially used during Diwali, because of a belief that goddess Lakshmi likes colourful decoration, and if you decorate your house with rangoli on Diwali, she will be pleased and come into the house,” she said.

Indian and Kiwi artists, Harpreet Singh and Brydee Rood, in collaboration have displayed their works at the Auckland Art Gallery in Kitchener.

The collaboration was aimed at reflecting Indian traditions and contemporary concerns about migration and refugees, and the cultural diversity of Auckland.

(IANS)

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Asia Cup : India Emerge Champions for third time, Beat Malaysia in Asia Cup Hockey Championship

India emerged victorious for the third time

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(representational Image) India vs Malaysia Hockey Match wikimedia

Dhaka, October 22, 2017 : India overcame Malaysia 2-1 in the final on Sunday to win the Asia Cup hockey championship for the third time.

Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India. Shahril Saabah (50th minute) scored the reducer for Malaysia. (IANS)

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Was the Ban on Sale of Firecrackers in Delhi Successful? Data on Pollution Levels in Delhi Say Otherwise

Despite the much talked about cracker-ban, pollution monitoring stations placed the capital in the ‘red zone’, indicating ‘very poor’ air quality.

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While the ban on crackers imposed by the Supreme Court aimed to reduce pollution levels in Delhi, figures from pollution monitoring system paint an unhealthy picture with amplified levels of air pollution. (Representative image) Pixabay

New Delhi, October 20, 2017: The Supreme Court had on October 9 banned the sale of firecrackers in Delhi during Diwali in order to counter the pollution, deteriorating air quality and smog-like conditions that have come to be associated with the festival in recent times.

While a radical change was not expected following the ban on firecrackers, a humble and promising beginning could be witnessed on Diwali with majority areas in Delhi reporting much lesser noise and smoke till 6 PM, compared to previous years.

However, as the festive spirit picked up from 7 PM onwards, the hopes for a pollution-free Diwali got lost behind the growing echo of the crackers.

Pollution Levels on Diwali

Despite the much talked about the ban on firecrackers, pollution monitoring stations placed the capital in the ‘red zone’, indicating ‘very poor’ air quality. According to the stats available, on Diwali day around 7 pm, online indicators showed a rising trend in the volume of cancer-causing ultra-fine particulates PM2.5 and PM10 that are capable of entering the respiratory system and reach the bloodstream.

PM2.5 and PM10 are the extremely fine particulate matter with the digits representing their diameter in micrometers. They are a major component of air pollutants that threaten both, our health and the environment at large.

ALSO READ 10 Quick Facts About Delhi Pollution Problem

However, data from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) suggested that the air quality in Delhi on Diwali was better than last year.

On Thursday, the Air Quality Index (AQI) value was 319 which placed the city in the ‘very poor’ category. However, the AQI value on Diwali last year was 431 and the city was placed in the ‘severe’ category.

According to data from SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research), the 24-hour rolling average at around 11 PM was revealed as 154 and 256 micrograms per cubic meter for PM2.5 and PM10 respectively.

According to SAFAR data, pollution levels were expected to soar between 11 PM and 3 AM.

Pollution Levels in the Morning after Diwali

As the night progressed, PM2.5 levels recorded a sharp rise in multiple areas in and around Delhi, with 15 times increase in areas like India Gate

As per data from Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), PM2.5 levels at 6 AM in,

India Gate – 911 microns (Normal level – 60 microns)

RK Puram – 776 microns (13 times more than usual)

Ashoka Vihar – 820 microns (14 times more than normal)

Anand Vihar – 617 microns (10 times more than normal)

A sharp rise was observed in the PM10 levels in the early hours of the morning after Diwali which suggest hazardous pollution levels in Delhi.

As per data from Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), PM10 levels at 6 AM in,

India Gate – 985 microns

RK Puram – 1083 (11 times more than usual)

Anand Vihar – 2402 microns (24 times more than normal. Normal level is considered around 100 microns)

While the ban on firecrackers imposed by the Supreme Court aimed to reduce pollution levels in Delhi, figures from pollution monitoring system paint an unhealthy picture with amplified levels of air pollution.

Official figures from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are yet to be announced today. However, judging from the data available, it won’t be wrong to say that pollution levels in Delhi have increased post-Diwali.

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Hairstyles to Get the Chic look for Diwali Eve

Enhance your traditional attire with these oh-so-easy hairstyles and look the most glamorous among your gang for Diwali Eve tonight

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Hairstyles
Hairstyles to rock the Diwali Eve. Pixabay.
  • Diwali has got you excited since days and undoubtedly you would want to look your best today.
  • We have got some relief for you by presenting the trending hairstyles that you can give a try today to rock the Diwali eve with that chic look on your traditional attire.

Beachy Wave Hairstyle

Universally admired by red carpet celebrities and the daily beauty lovers alike. Getting those perfectly-loose curls is oh-so-simple. They take less than 10 minutes. Just use air dryer, curling wand, and your magical fingers to give you that boho chic look. This kind of hairstyles gives a bounce on your hair, making it suitable for a festive season like Diwali.

Hairstyle
Beachy Hairstyle a must try on the Diwali day. Wikimedia.

Side Fishtail Braid

This superficial, intricate-looking will definitely set your look intimidating for Diwali Eve. Braiding being the easiest hairstyle to master. This requires no hot tools or hair products, just keep trying the ends of the hair into braids by dividing into two sections. Throw out your hair open or tied with the braid on the side to enhance your hairstyle.

Hairstyles
Side Fish Tail Braid will get you boarded with the ethnic look. Wikimedia.

You may also try out the Messy Fish Tail Braid hairstyle which is suitable if you have short hair.

Hairstyles
Try this messy fishtail braid for short hair. Pixabay.

ALSO READ: Diwali 2017: 5 Fun things You can do this Diwali Instead of Bursting Crackers

Rose Braided Bun

Elegant & romantic, rose-bud, flower braid bun hairstyles is suitable for medium or long hair. Part your hairs from the center into three sections and separate a small portion of your hair from near your hairline. Create the braids normally and wrap it in a form of a beautiful flower in the center.You may also try the similar wrap around crown braid which will let you glow in the crowd on Diwali day.

Hairstyles
Rose Braided hairdo is surely gonna make you feel glamorous. Pixabay.

Low Pony Tail

No matter your hair kind or face shape, this hairstyle is surprisingly easy to master the look for any festive occasion. Just Slip your hair into a chic low pony and you’re done for the night. You may do a sharp low side-part to get that ethnic look hairstyle with your traditional attire. Showcase your traditional jhumkas over this low ponytail look.

Hairstyles
Low Pony Tail Look for Diwali Night. Pixabay.

-Prepared by Bhavana Rathi of NewsGram. Twitter @tweet_bhavana