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Time to celebrate . . . Oamaru newcomers Sudarshan Adhikari (Nepal, left), Gaya Adhikari (Nepal), Jot Sidhu (India), Neha Singh (India) and Sanduni Kaushika (Sri Lanka) and Waitaki Newcomers Network co-ordinator Christine Dorsey look forward to celebrating Diwali in Oamaru. PHOTO: TYSON YOUNG

Put on your finest clothes and get ready to celebrate – the Diwali festival is about to take place in Oamaru.

Starting tomorrow at 7pm, the Manor Estate will be illuminated with bright lights as it hosts the popular Hindu celebration.

Diwali is one of the most celebrated festivals in Hinduism and symbolises the spiritual victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.

The holiday is celebrated in several countries across the world, including India, Fiji and Nepal.

The Oamaru event, which has been organised by the Waitaki Multicultural Council and the Waitaki Newcomers Network, will the first time both organisations have officially celebrated Diwali.

Oamaru newcomer and event organiser Neha Singh said there would be much to look forward to at the event, including dinner, song and dance.

After a team of organisers came on board, planning for the event only took about a day, she said.

Mrs Singh hoped at least 50 people would attend the celebrations.

“We have come to a stage where we are confident that we will present well here, because we want to give a good impression about us,” she said.

Waitaki Newcomers Network co-ordinator Christine Dorsey believed the festival would be a good opportunity for migrants and the community to get to know each other.

“We just really want to have that community integration,” she said.

“That’s our overall aim, really – it’s to link our newcomers, our migrants, and the host community together.

“I think it’s good for people to understand this is a really positive festival.”

Mrs Dorsey hoped to turn the festival into an annual event if this year’s was a success.

“We have a lot of regular events and we would love this one to be one of those,” she said.

Anyone wanting more information about the Oamaru Diwali celebrations can contact Mrs Dorsey (027 2428-643).