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2021 ASB Polyfest Gets Underway In A Week

The Manukau Sports Bowl will burst into life in a week’s time with the 45th anniversary of the ASB Polyfest. From Wednesday, April 14 to Saturday, April 17 the Sports Bowl will reverberate with traditional song and dance from Auckland’s youth.

For many Auckland students, it will be their first opportunity to grace an ASB Polyfest stage for a couple of years. Last year’s festival was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the final day of the 2019 festival was cancelled following the Christchurch mosque tragedy on March 15.

Polyfest Trust Chairperson, Robert Solomone said, “The disruptions over the past two years have been a real test for everyone involved, but we have emerged more resilient, thankful, hopeful and excited about what 2021 signifies for our ASB Polyfest community.”

This year’s marks the 45th Anniversary of this iconic festival which features traditional music, dance and speech from Auckland secondary school students.

Students compete on the following stages - Cook Islands, Maori, Niue, Samoan, Tongan, and a Diversity stage which features performances from a range of cultural groups such as Chinese, Fijian, Tokelau, Indian, Korean and Sri Lankan. Students perform on these stages with pride and passion, and the honour of being top school in their respective culture.

The festival theme from last year has been retained, with this being:

“Mā roto mai i te Ahurea whirikoka, ko te whakaora tinana, hinengaro, wairua me te ira tangata"

“Healing the body, mind, spirit and soul with the strength of Culture”

Festival Director – Seiuli Terri Leo-Mauu said, “This theme is more relevant than ever, given the challenges that ASB Polyfest has faced over the past two years. Retaining the theme also allows students to re-purpose the performances and costumes from last year if they choose, or add new elements this year.”

ASB Head of Community, Sponsorship and Events Mark Graham said the bank is proud to be marking 36 years of supporting ASB Polyfest.

“It’s been amazing to be part of this event for more than three decades and to see it progress into the iconic festival it is today. We look forward to supporting the students as they proudly perform for their families and their schools in a week’s time,” said Graham.

This year’s festival gets underway on Wednesday, 14 April with a special flag-raising ceremony at 6:30am, followed by a powhiri at 8am which includes a mass haka from Kura Matua Schools – Kia Aroha College and James Cook High School.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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