Toko­roa pro­vides cul­tural in­sight

Vis­i­tors en­joy haka and hangi

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

In­ter­na­tional stu­dents were treated to a Toko­roa ex­pe­ri­ence from For­est View High School stu­dents.

The Lit­tle Brown Kiwi tour group brought about 30 stu­dents from a Sin­ga­porean in­ter­na­tional school to stay at Papa O Te Aroha Marae.

Marae trea­surer Prue Christie said the com­mu­nity marae has given pre­vi­ous tour groups a great ex­pe­ri­ence. ‘‘Toko­roa be­came their high­light,’’ she said.

The op­por­tu­nity to en­gage in a cul­tural ex­pe­ri­ence as well as in­ter­act with people their own age is in­valu­able, ac­cord­ing to Christie.

The an­nual event is in its third year and she hopes tour groups will visit the marae more of­ten.

The group of 11 to 18- year- olds de­toured from Ro­torua to ex­pe­ri­ence a night in at the marae. For­est View High School’s Te Piringatahi group hosted the stu­dents and wel­comed them on with a powhiri and wa­iata.

Through­out the evening, the Maori cul­ture was em­braced through in­ter­ac­tive per­for­mances and ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing us­ing a poi and learn­ing the haka.

Teacher in charge Rachel Toy said Te Piringatahi mem­bers ben­e­fited from the ex­pe­ri­ence as well.

‘‘ Our stu­dents gain new life ex­pe­ri­ences and love in­ter­act­ing with the new stu­dents,’’ she said.

For­est View stu­dent Tara Kemp en­joyed the in­te­gra­tion of cul­tures.

‘‘I loved that we all came to­gether to teach the Sin­ga­pore stu­dents about our cul­ture and we also learnt so much about their lives. It was cool to see the en­joy­ment on their faces,’’ she said.

A tra­di­tional hangi rounded off the night, with the in­ter­na­tional stu­dents tak­ing part by lift­ing out their kai.

Photo: RACHEL TOY

CUL­TURAL EX­PE­RI­ENCE: For­est View stu­dents en­riched their vis­i­tors with a haka tu­to­rial.

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