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Polyfest 2023

The African Fusion Group and Indian Dance Group – Polyfest 2023.

Polyfest made a comeback back after last year’s Covid19 restrictions that had occurred where no food stalls were operating and no audience to cheer on the performances, creating new bonds and most importantly memories to treasure.

This year Rutherford’s African and Indian group had a chance to enjoy themselves. Not only did they watch all of the other performances from different schools, but students had the opportunity to look around and indulge in different cultures’ food.

Although Polyfest for 2023 didn’t have the same Covid-19 restrictions as last year, the African and Indian group still had to fight to overcome certain barriers, such as the severe flooding in Auckland. Because of the huge two week delay coming to school the African and the Indian Group only had 12 days to gather students, choreograph and perfect a dance that represented the 2023 diversity stage theme “Creating one’s own destiny” also known as “Mana Motuhake”.

It wasn’t an easy journey. Both groups didn’t let the short amount of preparation time stop them from getting to the Polyfest stage. Both of our cultural groups were rehearsing with maximum dedication. Dancers were striving towards their personal excellence continuously, in and outside of school rehearsals. Both groups including the Samoan Group came together and had rotations of practices every hour.

For showing up and giving our 110 percent towards rehearsals, our Cultural Coordinator, Semu and his crew surprised all three cultural groups with pizza to enjoy.

Our African Group performed a cultural piece called “Toza Koluka Nzela” which means “Finding our own way”. We believe that our destiny is not just our own but as a community it’s intertwined with each other. The African Group came out with awesome results and placed 3rd for the Continental Award!

Our Indian Group performed four types of folk dances from both North and South India. One of the dance pieces was from the Indian community of Punjab. The second being from Gujarat and the third was Tamil.

Beginning the dance from North India, the Punjabi dance involved performing a ‘Giddha’.

The second dance came from the Gujarati Community, performed by two students to symbolise that sometimes we work in smaller groups to find our own destiny.

Lastly we headed to the Southern part of India and performed a dance representing the Tamil Community of farmers. The tamil dance also symbolises that we are capable and able to work hard to build everybody’s destiny and provide each other with food. This Tamil masterpiece involves a Karagam. It represents when life gets overwhelming, we cannot lose focus. We must learn the act of balance.

Overall to sum up the theme, “Our families and our communities shape us but in the end you chart your own destiny”.

On behalf of the African group we would like to thank the dance tutor Favour Ukah for taking time out of her busy schedule to come and choreograph the dance within a small amount of time. We also would like to thank Mrs Wilson and Mrs Hayes for coming along with the groups to Polyfest to supervise.

On behalf of the Indian group we would like to send a huge thank you to Mrs Shakoor who took the time to choreograph the dances. We would also like to acknowledge Sandi and Mrs Nand for getting our costumes ready. A huge thank you to two students, Jayden Kesa and Shivani for dedicating time to help out with all practices and coming to Polyfest to support both cultural groups.

Most importantly, we would like to extended a massive appreciation to one of Rutherford College’s cultural coordinator Semu Filipo, who has organised the groups to attend Polyfest. Without any of these Rutherfordians, Polyfest would not have been possible.

By Jayna Pragji

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