Sunday, June 20, 2021
Times of Georgia


A Garba event held much early in Auckland was able to achieve what its organisers had set out to achieve – bringing smiles to the faces of the members of the community – in an otherwise gloomy year because of a rampant global pandemic overseas.

Soni Samaj New Zealand had come up with an innovative idea of rejuvenating the spirits of the members of the community, who were jaded with the consistent gloomy news of a raging Covid pandemic all around the world – hosting a Garba event early in Auckland.

Pritesh Raniga, Vice President, Soni Samaj NZ – a community association of people who share a common Gujarati-descent with their ancestors having emigrated from the Indian state of Gujarat to different parts of the world, including Fiji, before finding their way to NZ – told the Indian weekender that their executive team was delighted with the turnout and the participation of the wider community.

Held on Saturday, May 15, at Lynnfield Youth Centre, Mt Roskill, the Garba event was a full house event and saw many happy faces in the community immersing themselves in the festivities and performances normally associated with the traditional Garba season that is between September-November in different parts of the world.

“Our executive committee team have been trying to do something to lift the moods within our close-knit community, which was gloomy for some time, largely because of the concerns about their extended families and friends in different parts of the world where either Covid was rampaging or the lives have come to complete halt,” Mr Raniga said.

“Even when this idea descended upon us, our team was initially not sure if this early Garba event will be able to get support and participation from our members of Soni Samaj NZ and the wider community.”

“However, the eventual turnout of the crowd and the smiles that we were able to see on our people’s faces was greatly satisfying,” Mr Raniga said.

“We would like to thank each and everyone for their support on behalf of the entire team at Soni Samaj New Zealand, particularly our sponsors 3C Homes and Mortgages Online,” Mr Raniga said.

The event had a rich layout of Indian style street food and ‘Senso’ Masala Range of Tea sponsored by Jagdish Punja, Pritesh Raniga told the Indian Weekender.

Notably, Soni Samaj New Zealand is a voluntary community association comprising of people of Gujarati-descent whose ancestors have emigrated out of the Indian state of Gujarat and settled in different parts of the world, including Fiji and eventually finding their way to New Zealand.

It encourages participation from all age groups and a wide cross-section of families, and in addition to encouraging cultural and sporting activities, it also engages in humanitarian works on a regular basis.

(Sandeep Singh)

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