Hangi gives a taste of Maori culture

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 23/02/2013
O Week 2013
JOHN HAWKINS/Fairfax NZ Zoom
Students MaryAnn Kuiti, left, and Chantelle Westrupp celebrate after winning meal vouchers for correctly providing the Maori names for Bluff and Invercargill.
Hangi
TASTY: Marcia Teau-Thomson, front, and Ben Hormann try the hangi in the Tay St campus quad during the final day of SIT O-Week yesterday.

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Some students had their first taste of Maori culture at a hangi lunch yesterday, celebrating the final day of the Southern Institute of Technology O-Week.

The hangi, holding enough food for 300 people, was laid out on tables in the Tay St campus quad.

Staff and students, including many from overseas, helped themselves to pumpkin, potatoes, stuffing, and masses of meat.

Student Miggie Lu, 23, said the lunch had been her first hangi, and she had enjoyed the food, especially the vegetables.

The free sausage sizzle continued alongside the hangi, and Westpac staff, who manned the barbecue, said they had cooked more than 1500 sausages for the student crowd during the week.

The grand finale of the SIT's Got Talent competition wrapped up the festivities yesterday, with five finalists battling to claim the top spot.

Dancer and drama student Christian Chien, 21, won first place with his medley of cult dances, including moves from Thriller, Gangnam Style and Harlem Shake. Mr Chien said he had initially been reluctant to perform, but he had been pressured to enter the contest by a friend, and took home $200 for winning, which he planned to save.

He invited the audience to do Harlem Shake with him as he performed his encore victory dance.

Fashion student Lemon Wakuwa, 22, who joined Mr Chien's dance, said the talent quest had been her favourite part of the week.

She had been inspired to enter next year with a mix of Beyonce and traditional dancing from her birth country, Zimbabwe.

National MP Eric Roy and Southland Stags players were also on campus to experience the final day of orientation.

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