Multicultural festival held in New Zealand to celebrate Maori new year

Source: Xinhua| 2020-07-19 19:21:52|Editor: huaxia

WELLINGTON, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The Multicultural Festival in celebration of the Matariki (Maori New Year) Gala Performance was held in Wellington, capital of New Zealand on Sunday.

The event, co-hosted by the Multicultural Council of Wellington and the China Cultural Center in Wellington and supported by the Wellington City Council, featured dumpling making workshop, Maori Kapa Haka, Matariki crafts, Chinese group dance, Indian classical dance, Russian Kalinka dance, Maori pipe music and Afro-beat music, among others.

Wellington is "a city and a community with people coming from the outside and get welcomed," New Zealand Minister of Finance Grant Robertson said.

"We don't always get it perfectly right but we try hard in Wellington, because so many of us come from somewhere else to be here. We do well here and welcome people, and we can always do better and make sure that we look after each other," he said.

Member of the New Zealand Parliament Brett Hudson said it is "absolutely fantastic" that the Multicultural Council of Wellington and the China Cultural Center in Wellington host the celebration of the Maori new year the second year in a row.

"Their celebration of Maori new year is far more obvious in the general consciousness of New Zealanders, no matter what their background and race. The Maori new year became an event celebrated by all peoples of this country."

Rachel Qi, president of Multicultural Council of Wellington told Xinhua that there are shared values and traditions between Maori and Chinese culture, such as the respect for life, family gatherings to honor their ancestors, holding banquets, and making delicious food, among others. "The purpose of this event is to build an inclusive and a multi-cultural society understanding, respecting and acknowledging all traditions and cultures to mark a strong diverse nation."

The celebration of Maori new year is based on the Maori Lunar Calendar known as Maramataka. In 2020, the rising of the Matariki star cluster on July 15 ushered in the Maori new year.

Traditionally, this was a time to remember the deceased of the past year and to plan for the next year. Today, Matariki has been revived as a celebration of people, culture, language, spirituality, and history. It is a time for family and friends to come together to reflect on the past 12 months and look towards the year ahead. Enditem