Polynesian Cultural Performance

A collaboration of Tongan, Samoan and Aotearoa New Zealand nations was celebrated with song, dance and haka during a fantastic performance at our full school assembly last Thursday.

Inspired by our Harmony Week activities, the students rehearsed for several weeks in preparation for the performance in front of staff, students and their parents.

The moving and emotional act was an incredible way to mark our first full gathering of the College community in more than a year.

The boys performed the beginning of the sipi tau – which is a Tongan war cry. They then transitioned into a faiva titled Mate ma’a Tonga (Die for Tonga).

The boys wore traditional Tongan attire, the focal point being their ta’ovala and fakaha’apai. They also wore two types of ta’ovala, a lokeha (woven mat) and ngatu (tapa). On their heads they wore a teki teki which is worn by all performers and emphasises any head movement.

Year 9 student Dania Malu performed a traditional Tongan solo (tau’olunga), showcasing the beauty of her graceful movements and her teunga (costume). Her arms and legs were covered with Tongan oil.

Throughout the performance, cheers were heard from the crowd, particularly from other Polynesian students and family members. These cheers are a sign of endearment, support, and pride.

Another sign of support is fakapale, when money is placed on the dancers – this is made easy thanks to oil lathered on the dancers.

The haka performed was a story about Te Rauparaha a Ngāti Toa chief and warrior of Aotearoa New Zealand. Sometimes called the “Napoleon of the Southern Hemisphere”, he composed this haka while hiding in a kumara pit to escape and evade an approaching war party. Called Ka Mate Ka Mate, it was proudly performed and shared with our CRC Melton community to represent the Maori people of Aotearoa.

We are so proud of our cultures and are humbled by the overwhelming support we received from the school to showcase a little bit of our heritage.

Although the performance is over, our connection with one another is something we will continue to cherish.

We encourage other students to be proud of their culture and hope we can continue encouraging diversity and unity at our school.

Siale Vaitohi – Year 12 student and Kim Joyce – Student Support Officer

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