Two weeks ago, we had a chance to get to know a festival that was totally unknown to us as there was a two-day Indian Diwali festival in Auckland. Diwali is a celebration of light for Hindus and it’s the most important festival of the year. Diwali is not only Indian as it is also celebrated i.e. in Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore and Myanmar. Anyhow, here in Auckland it was mainly presented as an Indian celebration because a big part of Auckland’s residents has Indian roots.
With Diwali festival, the people celebrate the light that overcomes darkness and good that wins evil. The celebration includes many kinds of rituals like hanging thousands of lights outside. Eventually, the festival culminates in fireworks.
In Auckland, the celebration was naturally more small-scale but we found it very nice to get to know something completely new. We learned something new also from our Indian flatmates who told us about their festival traditions.
Auckland Diwali festival had music, dance, different stalls selling stuff and Indian street food. The city center of Auckland was full of people and also the weather happened to be nicely warm and sunny. We strolled around and looked what was going on, and of course tried some food. The street food wasn’t very reasonably priced as one portion cost only 3 euros. We gave a try to samosa chaat and some deep-fried pastries that we cannot even name.
Thanks to the multicultural and international atmosphere in Auckland, it’s very easy to meet people from different countries here. This gives a chance to get to know different cultures which is quite cool from our opinion. There are lots of ethnic restaurants and shops in the city and we also make most of our grocery shopping in Korean and Indian supermarkets nowadays. Besides nice and cheap spices, we have found for example our favorite Korean noodles in these shops! And there is even a Finnish Safka shop in Auckland that we can visit when we long after Finnish sweets.