New Zealand's First Indian-origin MP Addresses Parliament in Malayalam
New Zealand's First Indian-origin MP Addresses Parliament in Malayalam Image Credit: Twitter

Last week, Priyanca Radhakrishnan became New Zealand's first-ever Indian-origin minister and a part of the cabinet led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. As Indians across the world cheered her, over the weekend, an old video of her addressing the New Zealand Parliament in Malayalam went viral on Twitter.

India’s Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri shared the three-year-old video on October 5, and wrote: "Doing India proud, the Indian origin minister in New Zealand @priyancanzlp addresses her country's parliament in Malayalam.”

In the video, Radhakrishnan, who was born to Malayali parents, can be heard speaking a few lines in Malayalam before adding: "Mr Speaker, I believe that it's the first time my mother tongue, Malayalam, has been spoken in this house."

The video is from a parliament session from November 2017.

Reacting to the video, Indian tweep @surendrankol posted: “People of #Indian ethnicity have always done #India and its culture proud by contributing positively all over the world - proud moment for every Indian.”

And, @pns251092 tweeted: “Proud moment for all Indians. Congratulations to @priyancanzlp on becoming the first New Zealand Cabinet Minister of Indian origin. Priyanca proudly uses her mother tongue, Malayalam, as a part of her speech in NZ parliament.”

Born in India, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, 41, went to school in Singapore before moving to New Zealand for further education, according to Indian news agency Press Trust of India.

She joined the Labour Party and was later elected as a Member of Parliament in September 2017. Three years later, she became the country's first Indian-origin minister after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern inducted five new ministers into her cabinet recently.