As people move to new settings and meld with others, performing your own culture out of your comfort zone can be tough. While some teenagers are too shy to put their cultures into practice, Naenae College students can’t wait to show off their cultures on stage.
Our Poly Group did not start until Term 2. We started with more than 80 students but we cut down the numbers to cater for the senior students only, as we did not have enough time to prepare for Multicultural Day. At the end we have only 52 students.
This year we had four items from the girls which were Samoan, Hawaiian, Cook Island and Tongan. We gathered up the girls and two leaders for each group. We left the boys to do their mixed items with a bit of flavour from Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Cook Islands. Once we figured out our items we all came together to the hall to do our entrance, then break off with our groups to do our items in 5 different places. Mrs. Duncan got her exercise by running around in circles checking that each group was doing what they were supposed to do.
It wasn’t as easy as it looked. Designing uniforms and fundraising for them was stressful. Not knowing if we would get the money in on time or if our uniforms would be ready. Fortunately, Mrs Duncan was there to cover the costs and to look after us.
Many of those who participated in Poly Group had neglected prior arrangements and had dedicated their time in perfecting their items that would be showcased, even if it meant practicing at interval, lunch and after school, when everyone else would be at home. This year, compared to last year, you can see the determination our Poly group had in committing to making our Multicultural Day performance memorable. Many people had seemed to underestimate the Poly Group this year, and abandoned hope that we might be able to bring the cultural spark this year. However with help from our tutor Mrs. Duncan, we were able to show them up by our spectacular performance. We gave it our best and knew from the bottom of our hearts that it was our all.
Some people perceived the Poly Club to have everything strictly cultural, from the drums to the singing to the perfect transformations; but for us here in Naenae College, Poly Group was something more. It was about the different cultures combining together to showcase our ambition driven from our traditions and different cultures. It was about showing everyone who we are both as a person and as a group, and how our heritage is important to us through the actions of our dances and songs. It was about coming together as a family, and doing something we all love together, because that’s who we are, Te Whanau Tahi, Aiga Fakataha, One family.
We want to thank you, Mrs Duncan: for bringing the Poly group together, for designing most of the costumes, for driving us home, for letting us use the LSP kitchen, for putting up with us, but most of all for believing in us. Now it’s all up to the rest of you to carry it on and dedicate yourselves like it is your final year.
Tofa Sofua, Mou nofo a, Moce, Aere Ra.
Year 13 Poly students 2013