All in Ethnic communities

Grateful: Thank you for the rebuild: Streets, Durham St Methodist community Ministry, to migrant construction workers

To acknowledge the monumental effort migrant construction workers have put in to rebuild the Garden City after the 2011 Earthquake, several community organisations have come together to say “thank you” to them on March 26. The initiative is the brainchild of Rob Ferguson, Chaplain in the city, Durham St Methodist Church, who leads its community ministry called Streets.

Women: African women celebrate International Women’s Day in Christchurch

African women from the tip of Africa to the Bottom (in short Cape to Cairo) with their friends, celebrated International Women’s Day at Hornby Work Man’s Club on March 11, 2017.  About 50 Women of different cultures came together for dinner celebrating our oneness as women, and deliberate on how - as women all humanity comes through us - including how we influence behaviour and the character of our children. “Women are the realArchitects of Society” (Cher)

Appreciation: Selwyn's inaugural CultureFest team recognised

At a function held recently at the Selwyn District Council (SDC) headquarters in Rolleston, the members of the organising committee of the inaugural Selwyn multicultural festival, called CultureFest, which was held in October last year, were appreciated for their contributions to its success. SDC CEO David Ward and Chairman, Rolleston's 150th Anniversary Celebration Committee, Councillor Jeff Bland, presented the team members with the certificates of appreciation and copies of the special booklet prepared to commemorate the Rolleston's milestone. The team members included Dave Tippett (SDC), Surinder Tandon (Rotary Club of Lincoln and Christchurch Multicultural Council - CMC), Archna Tandon (CMC), Kevin Park (Canterbury Migrants Centre), Rachael Inch (SDC), and Joyce Davey (Rolleston Newcomers Network).

Celebrations: University of Canterbury's Iranian Society celebrates Nowruz

The University of Canterbury Iranian Society celebrated Nowruz - Persian New Year, on March 18, with the evening including poetry recitation, traditional Persian folk dance and music, and Iranian delicacies. Celebrated beyond Iranian borders, the Persian New Year, whose actual date is March 21, this year, is observed on Northern hemisphere's spring equinox. This is year number 1396 as per the Persian calendar.

Remembrance: Memorial service for Japan's 2011 tragedy at Chch's World Peace Bell

On March 11, Christchurch observed a memorial service at the Botanic Gardens World Peace Bell to commemorate the Tohoku area earthquake and tsunami, which hit the regions six years ago on March 11, 2011. Notably, Christchurch sister city in Japan - Kurashiki, also observes a memorial service for the February 22 Christchurch earthquake. Speakers at the event included Cuty's Mayor Lianne Dalziel, Japanese Society President Kazzy Matsuzaki and David Bolam-Smith, member of the New Zealand chapter of World Peace Bell Association. Everyone present rang the World Peace Bell to offer their prayers for world peace.

Sports: Rajesh Nayyar - a doyen of Indian women cricket

A wicket-keeper bat, she was the member of the first Indian women cricket team formed in 1974; then became the coach of the Indian women cricket team in 1989, leading it to the triangular series win in New Zealand in 1995; was also a member of the Women's Cricket Association of India selection committee from 1989 till early 2000s; her latest stint was being a match referee for BCCI since 2006 till 2014; now Ms Nayyar is in Christchurch coaching St Albans [one of the most successful cricket clubs in the City] premier women team.

'We want our four-month-old daughter back and some time to look for other options', says Indian couple whose child was removed by Child, Youth and Family on February 20

The couple presently in Christchurch, who recently lost an appeal seeking refugee status in the Immigration and Protection Tribunal, is alleging that their daughter is continuously sick while in care of Child, Youth and Family, and no proper medication is being given to her. “The Social Worker in-charge also has no idea about the child's health,” said the woman. “Ever since our child was removed, we have not being advised by anyone from Child, Youth and Family on the next course of action. We are in complete dark about what is going on. And being migrants and new to this country, we don't know how things work here,” she added. Meanwhile, CYF denies the allegations. Also, when contacted the Indian High Commission in Wellington confirmed that they have advised CYF that the child should be returned to her parents.

Festival of colour: Holi

Being organised annually since 2014 by Revel Events -  a Christchurch based event management company – this year's Christchurch Holi – the Indian festival of colours, was the biggest and grandest. Attended by over 6,000 people, the free event was supported by Christchurch Multicultural Council (CMC), the Christchurch City Council, Christchurch's new Crown company Otakaro Limited, and Fletcher Living. Another principal sponsor was Yogiji's Food Mart, which supplied colours for the celebrations.

Community radio: Namaste Nepal - a greeting from Nepal

New Zealanders have an automatic connection to Nepal through the conquest of_ Mt Everest on May 29, 1953, by Sir Edmund Hillary and a Nepali Sherpa, Tenzing. Many Kiwis are also aware of the Gurkha soldiers of Nepalese nationality whose motto is “Better to die than to be a coward.” “The Ghurka were an integral part of UK military and there are even some in the Indian army,” says Binod Parajuli, who talks about many aspects of Nepalese culture, music and news on the Plains FM96 radio programme, Namaste Nepal, every Monday at 8pm, with a repeats on Thursdays.

Christchurch Labour MP's and candidates meet with Canterbury Refugee Council

As political parties kick off their election campaigns, Labour MP’s Megan Woods and Ruth Dyson, and labour candidates, Anthony Rimell candidate for Ilam, Jo Luxton candidate for Rangitata, Tony Condon candidate for Selwyn and Duncan Webb candidate for Christchurch Central, recently met with representatives of the Canterbury Refugee Council.

Multiculturalism: Festival of Nations

Richard Edmundson, Principal, Linwood College, noted, "This is the first time we are doing this, and with the response we have got, I am sure, the Festival of Nations will now be a permanent fixture in our College's annual calendar. Linwood College is, if not the most, then certainly one of the most multicultural colleges in the City. This is a celebration of that diveristy. If all schools in Christchurch can come together and organise something like this, it would be even better."

Christchurch Hare Krishna Centre's Revival

Almost six years after suffering extensive damage in the 2011 Earthquake, ISKCON Christchurch opened its door again at a newly-constructed Hare Krishna Centre at 83 Bealey Avenue on March 3. The grand opening ceremony titled Revival was held over three days, and featured fire yajnas, kirtans, aartis, guru pujas, and an initiation ceremony by Indradyumna Swami. Installation of the deities including that of Sri Sri Nitai Gaurachandra was also part of the ceremony.