Indian Cultural Society – History
Mr. HarKrishen Singh Kung, who is a Waikato farmer, started this society in 1990. Originally this society had a different name, but now has been registered as Indian Cultural Society, Waikato Inc.
Originally the 1st Diwali was celebrated in same theatre in 1990. The original members were Mr. Kung, Inder Singh, who has shifted to Auckland, B. B Singh who is still here, H. Randhwa and Mr. Kung’s younger brother, who has passed away. The idea behind Diwali function was to bring the festival of lights to the people of New Zealand. Diwali function was being celebrated in the Sikh temple, which was more religious and different from this cultural one. They wanted all Indians and Kiwi’s to join and not restrict it to just to the Sikh community.
They started something which is different. It was their way of exposing our Indian Culture to Kiwi people and have a cultural programme that everyone could join in and enjoy. Response was very little originally but it has grown in this 18 years so much so that many people are unable to get tickets to the show. It is now not big enough as the community has grown and this hall has only 1250 seats.
The community just love this programme as it provides a venue for Indian children to express our Indian culture through Indian dance and music and celebrate this festival.
Diane Yates has been a regular participant to these functions from the start. She has encouraged the Indian Cultural Society by being present for the whole function, even though she may not understand everything. It has been great having this kind of support from her and many other community leaders.