Kids celebrate their diversity

Multicultural pride

LISA KNIGHT
Last updated 11:00 23/08/2014
multiculti
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ
DYNAMIC DIVERSITY: Pupils from 20 different countries share their native culture at Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School’s multicultural assembly.

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Multicultural pupils have donned sparkles, colourful costumes and performed native dances to celebrate their school's collection of cultures.

Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School's annual multicultural assembly yesterday was a showcase of cultures from around the world, with pupils performing for classmates and parents.

ESOL teacher Barb Drake, who co-ordinated the show, said of the school's 121 students born outside of New Zealand, 39 different countries and 20 ethnic groups were represented in the performance.

"It's about celebrating the cultural diversity in our school," she said. "It's really important for the children to feel valued."

Each pupil dressed in their home country's traditional costume and explained their celebration traditions.

There were dance performances from India, China, Tonga, Samoa and Fiji, as well as singing and instrumentals.

With three weeks of practising, the year seven and eights absolutely loved it, Drake said.

"It's an exciting time for the kids. It's a chance to be proud of who they are and where they come from, and an opportunity for the school to see."

Mahnoor Hussain, 12, said the performance was to teach the school, through singing and dancing, how each culture celebrated in their own country.

Mashal Khan, 12, from Pakistan, said she enjoyed preparing for the show.

"It's a good way to express who we are and say we are different but in a good way," she said.

"We want to be proud of who we are and share it with everyone," Salma Abdalla, 13, from Sudan, said.

The students also put together a magazine called First Voice, with 45 pupils contributing articles written in their native language.

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- Manawatu Standard

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