Diwali Festival.


So this was how I spent my 2-monthsary here in Auckland! A two day event on Saturday and Sunday, all day, organized by the Auckland City Council.

I didn’t expect myself to be a part of such a big event, and even though half of me was glad that all the practices and drama is all over, I was also kind of glad I got to participate in the event too.

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The dance team gathered at about 3pm on Saturday at the Victoria Women’s Gym for a last minute huddle and briefing. Then by 4:30pm, we went off to the site at the Event center just beside the City Hall and Events Cinema. There was a huge crowd and I was expecting lots of Indians to be there but surprisingly there were other Kiwis and non-Indian nationals there just chilling and hanging around. My college had a booth set up to promote the school and this was apparently the first time NTEC has sponsored any event as big as this.

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Initially this dance was planned as a flash mob surprise, but to OUR SURPRISE, it didn’t end up to be an authentic flash mob. I mean, duh~ we were all wearing very bright Red and Blue colored shirts promoting the college so obviously everyone would know something was going on. So it ended up with the host announcing over the loudspeaker that we had a special performance for the crowd.

So anyway, we performed at Queen Street itself, on the road and not on stage, and it ended up looking like we had some sort of street dance party going on which is cool anyway. Our song mix was about 7 minutes long, and it was nice to see the crowd was pretty supportive and responded well to the dance. Here’s the link to the youtube vid.

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After the dance ended around 5:45pm, I was ready to go home already and didn’t want to hang around cos I didn’t bring any money with me at all. Then suddenly D came around the group of Pinays I was with and said to all of us to meet up at the gym after this. And all the while in my head I was thinking, ok, this is a debriefing and to talk about whats gonna happen for tomorrow’s dance and all. Little did I know, it was actually more than that.

I hung around Ate A and Yeng for the rest of the evening eating Dunkin’ Donuts and just chit chatting with them before we arrived at the gym. It was then I found out that we were asked to dance on stage later that Saturday night around 8:50pm. But because of safety regulations for the stage, we were only limited to 25 people to dance. So there were others that were not there but the dance organizers didn’t mention anything during that time at the gym so I thought everything was good and that those people who weren’t gonna dance on stage knew whats going on. Oh the drama that ensued ….

The performance went well, and I guess we were all hyped and excited because the presence on stage just gets your adrenaline pumping and you just absorb all that crowd cheering and it really felt good! Until we got off the stage of course. Ate A got a miss call from S and then there it was, people arguing and criticizing what happened to the others who were not on stage and why they weren’t informed. Oh my…

Poor Ate A was stuck in the middle of it all, and the night ended with R and D trying to explain and calm everyone down. I felt bad too for not calling R about it cos I thought they knew and didn’t realize it was such a big deal. I got home and called her, and she said she was upset because they felt insulted when people in the crowd was questioning why they weren’t on stage and when they thought they missed out and actually went to the stage, they were even pushed away by the dance organizers! I apologized for not being a good friend, and we just ended the call in that note.

The next day when the team gathered in the gym before the second performance, the drama continued. People were raising their voices, they were arguing and fighting, and it was not a good sight. After all, this festival was all about them, and this display of disunity was not good at all. The Pinays got really tired of it and even spoke up and tried to tell them to chill and stop arguing. I was just quiet most of the times cos I was in no place to comment, and plus, the dramas started even from the beginning of the dance practices with choreography disagreements and all,  I mean, how could I expected less of a drama? 🙄

But it was all good, at the end of it, everyone maintained civil and professionalism, proceeded with the performance and all was well. Photos and smiles everywhere. What an unforgettable experience, and wow the drama! It’s like watching a live TV Series or reality show of “So You Think You Can Dance?” but with way more angst!

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