Standing alongside Priyanca Radhakrishnan, the parliamentary private secretary for the Ethnic Communities, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended Onam wishes to the Malayali community on September 10. In the video, Priyanca speaks both in English and Malayali while wishing her community. Similarly, Adern speaks fondly about the festival and thanks Malayalis for bringing diversity to the country. The video has touched many hearts online.
“As we celebrate Kerala’s harvest festival, we want to wish our New Zealand Malyali community a very happy Onam. It is great to see how the Malyali community is brought together on this day and I wish you and your families all the very best,” Ardern says in the nearly one-minute video.
Since its posting, the video has attracted many social media users. A long line of positive responses can be seen in the comment section. One of the users wrote: “Thank you, Ma’am, for this great gesture and respect towards Indian community." Similarly, another user writes: "A very happy Onam dear PM and Priyanca, and my salute for concerning our community in New Zealand. We all love you." Here are a few other responses.
Onam is the annual Harvest festival in the state of Kerala. Being the state's cultural festival, it is celebrated by Malayalis across the globe. It is believed that King Mahabali's spirit visits Kerala at the time of Onam and the festival commemorates his visit. This year Onam started from September 1 and will conclude on September 13.
Kerala celebrates Onam, politicians across India extend wishes
Priyanca Radhakrishanan was elected to the New Zealand parliament at the 2017 general election as a representative of the New Zealand Labour Party. She was also ranked number 12 on Labour's list, making her the highest-ranked Labour member not already an MP. On 27 June 2019, Radhakrishnan was appointed as the Parliamentary Private Secretary for Ethnic Affairs. She is an Indian-born-New Zealand Malayali politician.