Diwali was here again…

Diwali, the Indian festival of lights has come and gone again and Christchurch paid its due by hosting a massive, culture-filled event.

Diwali happens to be the biggest Indian event in Christchurch consistently and this year was no exception. Located in the Horncastle Arena, it was an extravagant six hour long event that took place last Saturday. With lots of  spicy Indian food, henna stalls, traditional shoes and sari stalls and a whole lot of Bollywood dance performances,  the place was packed with Indians and lots of other nationalities who were all keen to learn about the festival and broaden their cultural knowledge.

For those of you who don’t know what the festival is, here’s just a quick summary and it is best to narrate it as a story!

Once upon a time, there was a Prince named Ram who was sent into exile with his wife for 10 long years as he fell prey to his stepmother’s politics. After a long ten years that was filled with lots of action and events, Lord Ram was finally returning back to the kingdom with his wife Sita, after defeating and killing the demon Raavan. To celebrate his homecoming, the locals of the kingdom lit fire torches to create a pathway for the two from the forest to the kingdom.

To this day, the homecoming is celebrated in the most extravagant way. Traditionally in India people burst firecrackers (the atom bomb being my favorite!), conduct religious rituals and of course eat a whole lot of Indian food with the entire family.

Personally, being away from home these are the things you miss the most and it was calming to see  such a massive cultural impact in Christchurch and more importantly how people from other cultures embraced it and were curious to be a part of all the excitement.

Did you get to Diwali this year? If so, please leave me a comment with your thoughts.

Affordable, Comfortable Summer Accommodation

If you’re staying in Christchurch for the summer and need a place to stay, then continue reading…

Whether your current accommodation contract has come to an end or you’re looking for some temporary accommodation over the summer; you may be spoilt for choice or have no options. Irrespective, this post should hopefully help solve that.

UC is offering a variety of accommodation options both on and off campus for the summer at very affordable prices. A list of available options and prices can be found here: http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/accom/halls/summer.shtml

In case you’re new or don’t have the slightest clue about the places on offer, these little bits should help (it’s best that you either go have a look for yourself and make a decision, or just contact the respective offices if you’re short for time):

  1. University Hall: Located by the Ilam Fields on Maidstone Road, this place is the  closest to campus. The fairly recently built blocks come in lots of six with a kitchen, lounge area and two showers.
  2. Ilam Apartments: Located on Homestead Lane, just by the Ilam       Gardens, this is an extremely ideal and comfortable location. Each apartment has either five or six rooms and one or two showers respectively including a lounge, kitchen and in-house laundry      for most of them.
  3. Waimari Village: The newest accommodation on campus, this comes as a fully furnished house for a minimum of a month’s stay.
  4. Waitakari Village: Located off campus, this too is a fully furnished, fully catered accommodation option that is very affordable.

Summer should be fun and comfortable and all these accommodation options are guaranteed to deliver both!

GET AHEAD THIS SUMMER!

Summer’s fast approaching and most of us are just counting down to it. It’s a time to rewind, relax and let go.

It’s also a good time to invest in university. If you have a course to catch up on or are looking to fast track your degree, you should definitely consider UC’s summer school. It has a range of courses to offer and runs from November to January. Here’s a list of courses and available dates.

Summer programme 2014

Summer programme 2014

While most of us just can’t be bothered attending university during the summer, here are five reasons why you should at least consider it:

  1. It reduces the length of your degree
  2. Helps you make up for any time lost during the academic year
  3. Gets you ahead of the class and a step closer to your next goal (further education/full time job)
  4. It’s condensed and quick, and yet is as effective as a course taken during the academic year.
  5. A chance to meet new and like-minded, goal-driven individuals.

To enrol in a course or for any further information, consult this page: http://www.summer.canterbury.ac.nz/