October 24, 2011

Diwali Wellington (Diwali Mela)

The second day of the Wellington celebrations of Diwali was called Diwali Mela and was held on Sunday 16 October at the TSB arena. The event included retail stalls, speeches, dances and food.

The event was well organised; there were signs up listing the timing of performances, security controlling the flow of people into the food hall and a separation between the retail and stage area. It would have been useful to see the programme beforehand but information about the Diwali events was difficult to find. I think the door charge was fair but, considering the experience we had, I would not have been happy to pay any more.

There was a huge selection of food in Shed 6 including (confusingly) Mrs Higgins Cookies amongst the many Indian restaurant stands. Unfortunately we managed to buy from a stall that didn't have very good food and ended up throwing most of it out. The small stage in the food hall had an area in front of it for people to sit on the (concrete covered in tarpaulin) floor. The kids were looking forward to the puppet show but weren't that interested in it though I thought that having the puppet stall next to the stage was a great idea. We missed any performances on the main stage as the speeches seemed to drag on for quite some time.

Obviously the event was well patronised as it was a squash to get to see anything of the retail stalls. The kids were happy to look at the shiny things, they were particularly enamored of the 3D pictures, but didn't have much patience to wait and push through a crowd. I would have liked to see more of the stalls but it was too difficult.

For the Festival of Lights it was lacking in the lights department, there were fireworks in the evening but reports were that they were far from spectacular. I think perhaps the best way to sum this up was something an Indian acquaintance said; "We used to go, but we don't anymore. It's not worth it." Sadly accurate.

Venue: TSB area
Date: Sunday 16 October
Price: Gold coin donation

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