The sounds of Paci­fika

Bay News - - FRONT PAGE -

IT’s the fourth an­nual Pasi­fika in the Bay this month, and it’s get­ting big­ger ev­ery year.

Arecord 22 groups from pri­mary schools across the re­gion are com­ing to per­form and cel­e­brate their cul­ture at this year’s Pasi­fika fes­ti­val.

Or­gan­is­ers are con­sid­er­ing some op­tions for fu­ture events such as lo­cal­is­ing it or turn­ing into a two-day event.

“But we won’t turn any­one away,” event man­ager Mel Cot­ting­ham says. Schools come from Katikati to Taupo¯ to per­form.

Mel says there is no other event like it in the Bay. The fes­ti­val helps to strengthen the knowl­edge of lan­guage and cul­ture for Pa­cific Is­land chil­dren, which in turn helps with bet­ter learn­ing out­comes, she says.

“It also draws in fam­ily. It is a way for fam­i­lies to come to­gether and cel­e­brate their own cul­ture and iden­tity, which cre­ates con­fi­dence and a sense of pride.”

Mel says vis­i­tors may feel like they are on va­ca­tion as they ex­pe­ri­ence the sights and sounds of the Pasi­fika Fes­ti­val. They also have a record num­ber of stalls sell­ing healthy Pa­cific

food. The day in­cludes spe­cial guests, tra­di­tional mu­sic, dance and lan­guage. It is a cel­e­bra­tion of youth per­for­mance, and a show­case of New Zealand’s di­verse cul­tures. Dance may in­clude haka from dif­fer­ent is­lands, the Samoan sasa, hula and more.

Pa­cific tal­ent on show at the Pasi­fika fes­ti­val.

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