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Migrants sharing cultures at ‘Neighbours in our Community' meeting

Migrants sharing cultures at ‘Neighbours in our Community’ series

Rotorua resident Waitsu Wu, from Taiwan, sharing Chinese tea traditions at a recent ‘Neighbours in our Community’ meeting.

Rotorua District Council’s free ‘Neighbours in our Community’ series is recommencing on Friday (30 May) at 12.10pm at the Arts Village. The series is part of the council’s Settlement Support programme for migrants living in Rotorua.

This month’s speaker is Chintana Umtong from Bangkok, Thailand, who will be speaking about the ‘real’ Thailand – Thai food, family life, and the alphabet.

Cr Janet Wepa, portfolio lead of the council’s Sustainable Living Strategy, said the ‘Neighbours in our Community’ series was a wonderful opportunity for locals to find out how much they know about the people in their community.

“I encourage locals and migrants to come along and listen to Chintana’s story. Learn a little about her culture and experiences of living in different regions of Asia. Find out her first impressions of Rotorua, her interests, and how she has settled into life in Rotorua.

“Rotorua is becoming more and more diverse, so we’re very fortunate that our generous migrant community are happy to share their stories with us.”

At the last ‘Neighbours in our Community’session, local Taiwanese woman Waitsu Wu shared her culture with other migrant Rotorua residents, including demonstration of Chinese tea traditions. Brewing a cup of fresh tea is part of the hospitality shown towards guests in Taiwan.

Ms Wu arrived in New Zealand 23 years ago, knowing nothing about her new country. However she said Taiwanese are a very friendly and sociable people which helped her to integrate into the community.

“Rotorua is also a close and friendly community and this helped me to settle from the beginning. I’m passionate about community involvement because I’ve learned so much from it.

“I love the culture of my upbringing. I also love the experience of being a Kiwi. My vision is to combine both cultures in my life.”

Attendance is free at the ‘Neighbours in our Community’ sessions. This month’s session is from 12.10pm to 12.50pm on Friday (30 April) at the Arts Village. Registrations are not required.


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