Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Christchurch Diwali Festival 2010

Rajasthani female dancer performs at Christchurch Diwali Festival
Diwali 2010, originally uploaded by johnstewartnz.

Photo: A Rajasthani dancer performs at the Christchurch Diwali Festival

New Zealand, an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean situated about 2,000 kilometers (1,200 miles) southeast of Australia across the Tasman Sea, is noted for its multiculturalism. Though the majority of New Zealand's population is of European descent, the indigenous Maori are the largest minority, followed by Asians and non-Maori Polynesians, especially in urban areas.

New Zealand ranks highly in international comparisons on many topics, including education, economic freedom, and most importantly lack of corruption and its cities also consistently rank among the world's most livable cities.

Though New Zealand is culturally and linguistically part of Polynesia, contemporary New Zealand culture is mainly derived from British roots, with significant influences from American, Australian and European cultures, and recently non-Maori Polynesian and Asian cultures.

New Zealand's fastest growing ethnic groups are Asians, who celebrate festivals like the Auckland Lantern Festival, Indian festivals such as Diwali, and festivals of other Asian traditions. Large festivals, in celebration of Diwali and Chinese New Year, are held in several of the larger centers. The world's largest Polynesian festival, Pasifika, is an annual event in Auckland.

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