This year’s theme for ‘Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani – Cook Islands Language Week is ‘Ātuitui’ia au ki te Oneone o tōku ‘Ui Tupuna which means, connect me to the soil of my ancestors.
The theme reflects on the journey of Cook Islands peoples in New Zealand, as well as the longing of young Cook Islanders to connect with their language, culture, and identity. Acknowledging that while community elders are fundamental to the teaching and sharing of Cook Islands language, the leadership of young people as the next wave of cultural and language experts is also critical in keeping the connection to their homelands alive.
Here at Avondale College, we celebrated the week with daily homeroom and staff quizzes, a PowerPoint presentation in Tuesday's home room classes, a screening of our Polyfest Fia Fia night performance on Tuesday lunchtime in A30, cultural wear day on Friday and our Meitaki Makete to wrap up the amazing week we had in the PAC foyer. The Meitaki Makete showcased: Cook Island art display/competition; cultural wear display; Cook Island Polyfest group; dance tutorial/performance; food samples; and an 'ei Katu (floral head crown) making demonstration. This was a successful event as crowds of students and staff gathered to celebrate the beautiful culture of the Cook Islands.
Meitaki ma’ata to all for supporting Epetoma o te reo Māori Kūki ‘Āirani 2021! We can’t wait for the next one!
- Mrs Jacqueline Nesi