Cook Is­landers in­tent on shar­ing

South Waikato News - - NEWS - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

A taste of the Cook Is­land cul­ture was launched out into the com­mu­nity loud and proud.

Cook Is­land lan­guage week kicked off with a bang as the com­mu­nity flocked to an ar­ray of events to cel­e­brate the cul­ture.

South Waikato Pa­cific Is­land Com­mu­nity Ser­vices ( SWPICS) man­ager Akarere Henry was moved by the com­mu­nity’s ea­ger­ness to learn.

A sim­ple ‘‘kia orana’’ went vi­ral around some schools and was an ac­com­plish­ment, Henry said.

‘‘ We have sim­ple goals like ev­ery­body at least say­ing kia orana, that’s a tan­gi­ble goal.’’

The lan­guage week kicked off its third year with the theme nur­tur­ing our youth.

The theme fits in well with Hen- ry’s own ideals.

‘‘It’s about equip­ping them and hav­ing those role mod­els and cham­pi­ons so that they have those tools to de­velop from,’’ she said

The ‘‘gen­uine de­sire’’ from youth to learn gave her a sense of ‘‘hu­mil­ity’’.

‘‘My heart was warmed, I was con­fi­dent that the re­ten­tion of our lan­guage is go­ing to be strong,’’ she said.

Although the ini­tia­tive has been ac­tively taken on board, Henry hopes to ex­pand it.

‘‘For us it’s been very much con­tained within the Cook Is­land com­mu­nity but we want to share it with the com­mu­nity.’’

Through­out the week, ac­tiv­i­ties were held in­clud­ing learn­ing to make ‘‘viriviri’’ or is­land doughnuts.

Toko­roa High School also col­lab- orated with SWPICS for ‘‘ koni raoni’’ where they vis­ited the com­mu­nity.

Puna Vai Ora brought per­for­mances to Toko­roa school stu­dents.

Toko­roa High teacher Maine Tarai was proud to bring the stu­dents a taste of the Cook Is­lands. ‘‘It is an hon­our to be able to share our Cook Is­lands cul­ture with oth­ers,’’ she said.

Teach­ing youth: Pri­mary school chil­dren were given the op­por­tu­nity to en­joy a tra­di­tional per­for­mance

De­li­cious ways: Joe Manu made viriviri [is­land donuts] dur­ing the week

Is­land spirit: Toko­roa High’s Puna Vai Ora brought a per­for­mance to Tainui Full Pri­mary School as a part of Cook Is­land lan­guage week.

Stun­ning cre­ations: A women’s sewing evening was one of the ac­tiv­i­ties held dur­ing the week and it re­sulted in a stun­ning cre­ation.

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