Festival celebrates cultural diversity

20:50, Feb 27 2014
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Emi Nakayasu (15), Chisaki Takase (16) and Momoko Fujii (16). The girls are all on Exchange at MGC and were enjoying the performance of traditional Japanese music
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Yuka Kuwashima (16) (left) and Mami Kobayashi (16). The girls are on Exchange at MGC and were enjoying the performance of traditional Japanese music.
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Renee Roberts and her daughter Faith Saseve 18-months, wearing a traditional Samoan dress.
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Shige Kimura (originaly from Japan but now living here) and his son Ryo Kimura (4)
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Kiribati dancers perform.
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Aiona Kula (from Tonga) performs as part of the Pasifika Tauoluga "Hot Hula" Group.
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The Jossy Family from left - Thomas Jossy (dad) holding 3 and a half year old son Anton Jossy, and his wife Regina Mathew holding daughter Joanna Jossy 18-months
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Catching every moment on film
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Traditional Indian Dance performed by Aparna.
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Pasifika Tauoluga "Hot Hula" group. Joyce Tiueti (centre)

Marlborough's migrants will be the stars of the show at the ninth annual Multicultural Festival, to be held in Blenheim tomorrow.

The festival has quadrupled in popularity since it began in 2006 when fewer than 1000 people turned up, compared with a crowd of more than 4000 at last year's event.

Marlborough migrant services manager Margaret Western said the day is all about promoting Marlborough and celebrating its cultural diversity.

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Samoan Group
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Nakibae Bruce of Kiribati performs his country's traditional birdsong dance.
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Jacob Jacob from Kiribati performing a "tap dance"
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Taleva Boys member Charlie Manua
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Taleva Boys member Sethy Taleal
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Lima Aleni from Samoa performs the Samoan haka
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Lapu Oliver performs with Samoan group
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Tithiua Pehi performs with poi
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Kapa haka group perform "people of the land".
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Marie Normile.

Food from 17 countries will be available, including Italian, Indian and Chilean cuisines, as well 31 performances from various cultures around the world.

The festival is also a way to encourage Marlborough people to host events and acknowledge the value of cultural diversity in the lead-up to Race Relations Day on March 21, Mrs Western said.

Marlborough is home to many more cultures than most realise, she said. "Marlborough really is a melting pot of cultures."

The festival was a way to highlight all the different cultures and get people together.

"It's an opportunity to celebrate the cultural diversity of the faces that make up and enrich Marlborough's community."

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The Marlborough Express