Cultural celebration for Wairarapa youngsters

Published: Tue 21 Nov 2006 10:10 AM
Cultural celebration for Wairarapa youngsters
Five hundred youngsters from fourteen schools throughout the Wairarapa will be welcomed by Greytown Primary School this Friday for the Wairarapa REAP Primary Schools Kapa Haka Festival that will be held at Kuranui College.
“Kapa haka is unique to New Zealand and is something that excites our young people: regardless of their cultural heritage,” says Greytown School teacher and kapa haka tutor, Gina Smith.
“We have youngsters in our Greytown School Kapa Haka who have only been living in New Zealand a few years but they were drawn to kapa haka as it helped them understand their new home.”
Wairarapa REAP Primary Schools Kapa Haka Festival
Friday 24 November 2006
Kuranui College Hall, Greytown
9am – 3pm
The day-long festival starts this Friday with a powhiri welcome at 9am and will see fourteen schools and fifteen groups perform until the closing karakia at 3pm.
Ms Smith says young New Zealanders are keen to learn the history of their nation through Maori waiata (songs), moteatea (traditional chants) and haka.
“Our group will be performing a moteatea that’s close to 1000-years-old, the kids are all very proud to carry on this tradition and they all understand the taonga they are holding.”
“Kapa haka has the ability to empower all young New Zealanders to feel proud of their country and the community they live in by knowing and carrying its history within them.”
"For those of our kids who whakapapa to these songs the significance is huge: these songs were composed by their ancestors with them in mind."
As one eight-year-old told me only last week: "The tipuna will be proud of us . . . we've got to make sure we pass our moteatea on so in a thousand years time when we are tipuna: our mokos are still singing it!"

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