Cook Islanders intent on sharing
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.