The diversity of Pacific Island culture will be showcased in Palmerston North tomorrow during the Pasifika Fusion 2012 festival.
The annual secondary schools cultural festival is in its eighth year and promotes all facets of Pacific culture in New Zealand.
Organiser Helen Talamairo said the festival would highlight cultural achievement.
"We are the only festival of this kind aimed at secondary school students," Mrs Talamairo said.
"The wide range of categories let us celebrate Pacific learning and education, it's not all just about song and dance."
Thirteen schools are taking part, including schools from Taranaki.
The activities on display range from debate, poetry and essay writing, to short films and visual and wearable art.
The theme for this year's festival is "Threats to the Pacific", which is expected to inspire pupils to look critically at economic, environmental and political issues in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Mrs Talamairo said the calibre of material submitted for the festival continued to improve each year.
"The kids are definitely learning; the amount of interesting stuff about environmental issues in particular proves that the kids are taking an interest," she said. "Students who are submitting material for the festival are getting great help from teachers, especially with things like essay and speech-writing."
The Regent Theatre event runs from 6pm to 9pm tomorrow and all day on Thursday.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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