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Ola taxi drivers bringing the lights of India to Auckland Diwali celebrations

Ola taxi drivers in Auckland will be decorating their vehicles in colourful displays of lights, flowers and bling to coincide with this weekends' Diwali celebrations.

Diwali - the festival of light - is officially celebrated on October 27, but this year events are being held in Auckland this weekend on October 12 and 13.

Crowds of up to 50,000 people are expected over the two days of celebration, which will centre around Aotea Square in the CBD.

Ola driver Bankim Patel, of Avondale, immigrated to Auckland from Gujarat, India 17 years ago, and says decorating his car is a fun way to celebrate his culture.

"In India – everything is lit up for Diwali, from houses to temples and shops. It’s like Christmas for us," Mr Patel said.

"Adding colourful lights to my car is a way to share a little of the festival mood and party atmosphere of Diwali with my passengers.

"I hope the lights act as a bit of a conversation starter, because one of the beauties of living in New Zealand is that we celebrate all kinds of cultures."

Ola taxi driver Bankim Patel with his family in front of their decorated taxi for Diwali 2019. Source: Supplied

Ola New Zealand Country Manager Brian Dewil said Diwali is a great opportunity to celebrate the diversity of its driver community.

"Ola has more than 7000 drivers across the country, who come from a diverse range of cultural and religious backgrounds," Mr Dewil said.

"Offering our drivers the opportunity to light up their cars for what is one of the most important festivals of the year for many of them, reflects that."

Ola driver Bankim Patel with his blinged-out taxi, ready for Diwali. Source: Supplied


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