Celebrating a melting pot of cultures

October 04, 2022 at 3:33 PM

A packed-out Elliot Hall filled with family, friends, and fellow students murmured with excitement as the evening opened with a karanga and haka powhiri by our College Māori cultural group, Te Roopu Kapa Haka o Hāto Kēneti. After a three-year build-up to this night, preparation was complete, and expectations were high for the Cultural Celebration at the College.

A projected globe on stage invited the audience to take a journey around the world inspired by the symbolism of the traditional Māori manu aute, landing briefly on different countries where traditional music and dance were showcased by our talented students throughout the night.

Supporting the opening by Te Roopu Kapa Haka o Hāto Kēneti, our College Massed Choir, Kentatonix, also represented Aotearoa and performed ‘Ka Waiata’ and ‘I sing because I’m happy’. They were followed by the familiar sounds of the Scottish pipes and drums by the Pipes and Drums of Saint Kentigern before audience members were quickly whisked away to Ireland for an Irish Ceili.

Moving onto Asia, the first stop made was in India for a Bollywood performance. Making its debut in the College Cultural Celebration, the Bollywood troupe’s dynamic tunes and colourful costumes had everyone engaged from the start. The final two performances before intermission remained on the continent as Alice He performed ‘The Oceans Roar’ on a traditional Chinese zither and a group of dancers delivered a K-pop performance to mashup Korean smash-hits closing the first half of the night’s repertoire.

After the intermission, the audience settled back in their seats for a taste of the Pacific. Before too long, the Boys Gospel Choir had people up and out of their seats cheering on their loved ones. The energy in the room only increased from here as students representing the Cook Islands invited parents and teachers onto the stage to participate in their ‘Around the World’ item.

Much to everyone's delight, Acting Principal Mr Duncan McQueen weighed in on the action, dancing along to the drumbeats with the students. The Tongan and Samoan groups continued the festivities with girls' and boys' dances that had family members out of their seats rushing to give a lafo. A beautiful Taualuga performed by Maia Mealamu rounded out the Samoan segment in proper fashion.

The journey of the manu aute from around the world returned to its home in Aotearoa, New Zealand with an authentic kapa haka performance by Te Roopu Kapa Haka o Hāto Kēneti. The audience were treated to a bracket of traditional items, including an upbeat action song of entertainment. The kaitātaki, group leaders, led the roopu with distinction and mana.  From a captivating whaikōrero by Rawiri Martin to a beautifully rendition of Pokarekare ana by Te Pūmanawa o taku ate Rogers. The performance ended with an invigorating and fierce haka that wrapped up a truly special evening celebrating a world of culture at Saint Kentigern College.

A huge thank you to Whaea Jasmine Martin and Mrs Amanda Raea, whose hard work enabled this event to take place. Our appreciation also goes to our dedicated students, and technical team for their incredible commitment towards making this event a success. In his closing remarks, Mr McQueen so eloquently put it, “It was a night of power, passion and purpose. What a way to celebrate the beautiful and diverse cultures of Saint Kentigern through performing arts! This show is a living expression of our community, and it is our privilege to celebrate and acknowledge the diverse cultures that weaves us together and make us Saint Kentigern College.”


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