First-Ever DharmaFest Receives Full Community Support

New Zealand’s first
DharmaFestthemed ‘Vibhinnatāyām Ekatvam’ – Unity in Diversity, was launched at the Mahatma Gandhi Center in Auckland by Hindu Youth New Zealand (HYNZ) on Sunday 7th August 2022. The event started at 10.00am with the traditional welcome of representatives spiritual celebrations from various Dharma groups followed by the lighting of the diya (lamp) to mark the auspicious start of DharmaFest.

The mana whenua of the region where the DharmaFest was taking place, were recognized and with a karakia, began the inauguration of the event. Swami Tadananda from the Hindu community, Shri Rrahul Dosshi from the Jain community, Venerable Rewatha Thero from the Buddhist community and Shri Manjit Singh from the Sikh community each recited traditional prayers from their tradition and blessed the day’s proceedings. It was a significant moment for New Zealand to witness such a gathering of leaders from many Dharma-based organizations coming together for the betterment of New Zealand society.

Dharma-based traditions, cultures, knowledge systems and ways of life have been welcomed around the world. Well-known examples include yoga, meditation, and mindfulness. Likewise, the Dharmic communities, whether spiritual, cultural or service-oriented, have done tremendous work and given back not just to the ethnic communities, but to New Zealand society at large. Dharmic communities have played a key role in promoting pluralism and respect for harmonious coexistence.

DharmaFest allowed Dharma communities to come together, engage with each other and showcase their unique contributions to Aotearoa New Zealand. With the participation of several Dharma-based groups, temples and spiritual organizations, the team of young people leading this event were grateful and touched by the support of the community. All participating organizations had the opportunity to showcase the beautiful dimensions of Dharmic culture and the contribution of this diverse community to wider New Zealand society.

“DharmaFest is a turning point for the future of many of our Dharma communities,” said Murali Krishna Magesan, DharmaFest Coordinator. “This paves the way for true positive engagement and an opportunity to improve social cohesion within Aotearoa”

All community leaders blessed and congratulated the young volunteers for turning this vision into reality. They appreciated the youth-led DharmaFest initiative to make it a family-friendly event with a smoke-free, alcohol-free and meat-free environment. The free event, open to the New Zealand public, gave everyone the opportunity to explore various stalls to experience and learn about some of the cultures, arts, crafts, yoga, meditation and oldest ayurveda. About 1,000 people had attended DharmaFest during the day.

During the event, many workshops and demonstrations focusing on yoga, ayurveda and meditation were organized. Many people had the opportunity to do yoga and meditation, do mehndi, buy clothes and jewelry, and create art. The amazing flavors from the many food stalls were a real hit with the public.

“Young people from participating organizations really enjoyed their experience at DharmaFest and expressed interest in helping to create unique events like this in the future,” said Mr. Magesan. “We will contact interested organizations soon.”

Hindu Youth New Zealand is a youth-led organization that helps develop young leaders in Aotearoa New Zealand. Through capacity and capacity building initiatives, such as national conferences, workshops, webinars, cultural events and mentorship programs, young people are supported to reach their potential and given the opportunity to contribute to society. New Zealand at large.

To get in touch with Hindu Youth New Zealand, email [email protected] or contact HYNZ through their social media channels. Facebook: New Zealand Hindu Youth. Instagram: @hinduyouthnz.

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