Divali Nagar 2014 Opening Ceremony broadcast live globally using state-of-the art BLINK Broadband technology

The Tulsa Trace Hindu School Choir

The annual Divali Nagar was launched with a spectacular opening ceremony in Chaguanas on October 14th 2014 that was broadcasted live around the world using BLINK Broadband technology. The 9-day celebration to mark the Hindu Festival of Lights will run from October 14th to October 22nd 2014 with Divali being celebrated on October 23rd. Hosted by the National Council for Indian Culture (NCIC), the opening ceremony started at 7pm and observed the NCIC's 50th anniversary, as well as honoured Senior Counsel and former chairman of the Police Service Commission, Kenneth Lalla. The grand opening ceremony featured the lighting of a symbolic deya, the launch of the NCIC theme song by vocalists Rooplal Girdharie and Nirmala Sesnarayan, cultural performances by the popular bmobile Shiv Shakti Dance Group, the Untouchables Tassa Group and the Prema Shakti Dance Group, bhajans by the Tulsa Trace Hindu School Choir and Suriname’s ghazal singer Kries Ramkhelawan. The 2-hour ceremony closed with a dance act featuring Lord Shiva.

NCIC President Dr Deokinanan Sharma delivered the opening remarks, thanked the audience for attending and invited all to return to enjoy the 9 days of celebrations. Noting that the opening ceremony was being broadcast live around the world, Sharma thanked blink | bmobile and the other sponsors for their continued support over the years. Sharma stated “It is with your assistance that the NCIC was able to make great strides in the revival of Hindu-Trinidadian culture over the 50 years and the NCIC will continue to raise the standards of Indian culture in Trinidad and Tobago.” Sharma shared that 2014 also marks 28 years of Divali Nagar and the theme and décor for this year focuses on the Hindu God, Lord Shiva, known as the destroyer of evil and the purifier of the earth.

TSTT Executive Vice President, Human Resources Harigobin Jhinkoo delivered remarks at the opening ceremony. He congratulated the NCIC on their 50 years of service and commitment to the promotion of Indian culture and on behalf of the TSTT Board, Management and Staff presented a commemorative award to NCIC President Deokinanan Sharma. In presenting the plaque, Jhinkoo noted that the Divali Nagar continues to be an annual world class event and that it was an honour for blink | bmobile to be a major sponsor for yet another year. Jhinkoo shared that it was a pleasure for BLINK Broadband to provide the state-of-the art broadband technology that allowed the Divali Nagar to maintain its world class standard and for the opening ceremony to be broadcast live around the globe.

Referring to the theme of this year's Divali Nagar, Lord Shiva who transforms life to a higher state of existence, Jhinkoo noted "I can't help but think there is no better time than now to embrace Lord Shiva as the enabler of transformation. Through technology, blink | bmobile continues to transform our communities and our country by breaking new ground and leading the way in bringing advanced telecommunications technology to Trinidad and Tobago."

Reminding attendees of BLINK Broadband’s launch of its Gigabit Community in Lange Park, Chaguanas, the simultaneous launch of the new LTE 4G Wireless Service in both Trinidad and Tobago and the many free BLINK Broadband Wi-Fi hotspots available, Jhinkoo continued "Next year, we too are observing a major milestone as TSTT will observe its 25th year of existence and we will continue to demonstrate in clearly tangible ways our commitment to Trinidad and Tobago as we continue to expand ICT access in the nation, thus ensuring affordable access for all."

The 9 days of the Divali Nagar will be packed with excitement with more than 300 booths and loads of entertainment including cultural acts every night, a Youth Champ Competition, Miss Divali Nagar Pageant, a dance contest, a folk theatre and an “all female” night” on October 16th. The Divali Nagar Opening Ceremony was well attended and the dignitaries included Dr. the Honourable Bhoendradatt Tewarie Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, the Honourable Stephen Cadiz Minister of Transport, Dr. the Honourable Surujrattan Rambachan Minister of Works and Infrastructure, the Honourable Vasant Bharath Minister of Trade, Industry, Investment and Communications, the Honourable Rudy Indarsingh Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Rakesh Goswami, TSTT Executive Vice President Government & Enterprise Services, members of the Diplomatic Corps and heads of religious organizations. Other speakers at the opening ceremony were First Citizens CEO Larry Nath, NCIC PRO Surujdeo Mangaroo, NCIC Secretary General Meera Gangapersad and chief guest Kenneth Lalla who delivered the feature address.

bmobile Shiv Shakti wowing the audience with a dramatic performance


The Untouchables Tassa Group

TSTT Executive Vice President, Human Resources Harigobin Jhinkoo congratulated the NCIC on their 50 years of service and commitment to the promotion of Indian culture and on behalf of the TSTT Board, Management and Staff presented a commemorative plaque to NCIC President Deokinanan Sharma

Two young visitors to the blink | bmobile booth get drawn in by the blink | bmobile spin the wheel