© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2021

Exhibition celebrates Indian culture

Louise Ternouth
Mokaa exhibition
A selection of displays from the Mokaa exhibition  Louise Ternouth

Christchurch is celebrating 125 years since the first Indian settlers arrived in Aotearoa with exhibition Mokaa - The Land of Opportunity.

The exhibition features true stories of Indian settlers dating back to the 18th century.

Exhibition panels tell the story of the journey Indian seafarers took to New Zealand for timber, sealing and exploration, the conditions they endured whilst traveling, and where the community is now after 125 years. 

Jimmy Chen, chair of Christchurch City Council's multicultural subcommittee, said the exhibition aligned with the council's vision of a "city of opportunity for all".

"As our vision states, our city is open to new ideas, new people and new ways of doing things; a city where anything is possible." 

Mokaa captures the journeys and stories of many Indians who sought a new life and explores the history of their settlement, with rarely seen photographs and stories.

Christchurch Multicultural Council President Surinder Tandon said the Mokaa exhibition was "of great interest to all multicultural communities as it shows how migrants can settle, integrate and contribute to New Zealand society, economy and its vibrant cultural heritage while retaining and practising their own culture".

The exhibition runs until Friday August 17 in the foyer of the city council building on Hereford St between 8am and 5pm.