Excitement building up for Polynesian festival
ELABORATE costumes are being perfected ahead of this Friday’s Northern Region Polynesian Festival – and friends and family are pitching in to get everything ready on time.
Secondary schools from around the Porirua region are busy rehearsing their acts and getting ready to perform in front of a crowd of more than 1000 spectators.
This year’s festival is being hosted by Bishop Viard College with the theme of “Unity Pasifika”.
Catherine Faamau, 17, of the Ola Pasifika troupe describes the festival as “different, diverse groups coming together to represent not just their cultures but everyone else”.
The Ola Pasifika group has been practising for the past two months, and during the past fortnight their rehearsals have been held during every interval, lunch and spare moment the troupe can find.
The festival is not a competition, “[It’s] just entertainment,” Catherine says, “We’ve been preparing for a long time, we just want to go out there and do our best.”
Bernard Schutz, 18, and Tekinene Toom, 18, head the Kiribati troupe and are both “pretty nervous”. Just two weeks ago the young men came up with the dance to go along with a popular traditional Kiribati song Tei Nonouti. “We like the song, we’ve always wanted to dance to it,” Tekinene says.
Bishop Viard College principal Teresa Cargo says there is a “big emphasis on celebration rather than competition — it is what communities are all about”.
Nine secondary schools from the Porirua area will perform traditional dances from around the Pacific region at Te Rauparaha Arena on August 23 from 4pm. Tickets $10.
More details about the event here.