An overview of the 13th World Flower Show in Jaipur, India
February 24th – 1st March 2020

Pat Murdoch, WAFA NZ Committee

From arriving in Delhi to our final destination of Jaipur, India and the World Show delivered!

The World Show was held in the Diggi Palace Hotel, originally built in 1860 as a Palace and converted into a heritage hotel in 1990. As you can imagine its walls have seen everything including the rise and fall of the British Raj.

Several marquees had been erected in the grounds to accommodate the Exhibition Halls, provide time out spaces and the ‘shopping bazaar’; and boy, did we shop!

Vanita Patel (Takapuna Club) and Marianne Gibson (Warkworth Club) had been selected to design and stage the New Zealand Honorary exhibit. The cloak and hapene that featured in the design were made by a Matakana artist. The design received many compliments during the Show and they certainly did New Zealand proud.

An early start for competitive classes saw some of our group at the Diggi by 6am while the rest started at a more civilised hour. There was a great spirit in the hall I was in as we worked together.

On our return to the Diggi for the Official Opening Ceremony the entrance way had been transformed with the fountain featuring balls of orange Marigolds and strung with Marigolds and traditional Indian garlands. After the official opening Delegates from attending countries were invited to light candles that surrounded the fountain.

After the Ceremony, the Competition placements were available and there was much excitement as the New Zealand contingent celebrated their successes. The exhibition halls were then opened for viewing and all rushed from tent to tent, celebrating or commiserating according to the result. There were some truly outstanding designs and I felt privileged to be there.

The place getters received their Certificates in a beautiful marble frame at an Awards function the following night.

And so the fun continued as we donned our Indian finery, boarded buses and travelled out of the city to a Royal Indian Wedding. After a trip of nearly an hour we arrived at the most amazing venue to be greeted by decorated elephants. Many photos later we entered to the spectacle of a life time! If I am lucky enough to have another life, I think it will be as an Indian Bride … rich of course and with a groom as handsome as this one was. The colours, the music, the traditions and did I mention the groom! Lots of Bollywood-style dancing followed. Then of course more food.

I thought that this would be the highlight of the trip, until we attended the Gala Dinner at the Taj Rambagh Palace. Serious sari-envy here – even though we all had our best Indian outfits on and looked amazing. The grounds were lit with hanging lanterns and sumptuous silks decorated the trees … music, traditional dancing, great food, the chatter and laughter of everyone enjoying themselves.

The WAFA India committee excelled themselves: their generous spirit the obvious love and passion for their country and art form was at the forefront of everything they did and achieved.

India … magical, addictive, some would say an assault on the senses. I say it awoke every sense. Thank you India, and the New Zealand team.


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