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Celebrating Culture

Cook Island Community sharing an item

On Thursday, 26th September, Hamilton SDA School was transformed into a vibrant spectrum of colour as our families came together, dressed in an array of patterns and colour, to celebrate the diverse cultures that make up our school community.

This term, our social studies focus was on Identity and our students have been exploring their family roots, learning about their cultural traditions, and finding out interesting facts about the countries that their families represent. All of these play an import part in forming their identity and sense of belonging.

To celebrate their learning, our students participated in Culture Day by creating displays, preparing items, and dressing up in cultural patterns and colours.

This was an opportunity for the students to share their culture with their peers, teachers, and community, by passing on their knowledge and understanding to others.

After starting the day with a whakatau (welcome), karakia (prayer), and waiata (song).

Next, each cultural group was given the opportunity to share an item. Sana, dressed in a traditional Indian salwar, graced us with an Indian song.

The next group that performed were our group from Africa, who danced to the song, Waka Waka, by Shakira. That song was the theme of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, when it was held in Africa for the first time in its history. They also shared a poem about Africa, called "Mother Africa".

It was then our Latin American group that performed next, singing the song Si Estas Felix.

Our Africa group performing Waka Waka

It was then our Pacific Island groups turn to share an item. Dressed in the cultural colours and patterns of the Pacific Islands, they perfomed "Bula Maleya!", one that you will usually hear being played in Fiji as you arrive at the airport, welcoming you to their beautiful Island home. Our Cook Island group then graced us with a few songs of their own, sharing a range of greetings specific to the different Pacific Islands.

Mario sharing the story behind the song, Bula Maleya.

Finally, our Aoteroa group started off by sharing the following Whakatauki. "Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei". "Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain".

Next, the students performed an item using rakau and poi.

The day was capped off with a delicious shared lunch, where students had the opportunity of sampling traditional dishes that were prepared by our different cultural groups. It was a real blessing to see our community come together to celebrate, not only our differences but the unity that we share in identity in Jesus Christ!

Thank you to our parents, teachers, and students who worked so hard putting displays together, organising cultural outfits, practising items, and preparing delicious food! This was a real day of celebration, and as one of our students shared, "Today was the best day I have had at school, EVER!"

Our Latin America group perming Si Estas Felix.

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