Cultural festival at UCOL brings sights and sounds of another world

Samba ao Vento opened UCOL's Flavour of Cultures with a spirited performance.
Samba ao Vento opened UCOL's Flavour of Cultures with a spirited performance.

UCOL Manawatū was buzzing with sights, sounds and tastes from around the world as it hosted its annual festival of culture.  

Now in its third year, Flavour of Cultures celebrates the diverse cultural makeup of the tertiary institute with performances, food and activities.

Performers from the institute and the wider Manawatū community entertained the crowds on Friday with a variety of musical and dance acts.

Popular Brazilian drum group Samba ao Vento opened the show with the energy it's come to be known for, while the Shree Dance Academy kept the party going with its Bollywood dance act.

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As the evening went on, the crowd was treated to kapa haka, African dance, bagpipes, Native American flute music, and acoustic and hip hop acts.

Tasting tables allowed people to sample food from around the world. 

In the kids' zone, children could get temporary moko and henna, make poi, and colour in flags.

Shree Dance Academy members show their moves.
Shree Dance Academy members show their moves.

Manawatū's prominent food truck scene was well represented, with Dos Locos Taco, Kai Kart and Scoop Truck turning up.

Business development general manager Gillian Lawn said the festival gave the institute's international students a taste of home.

"We embrace diversity at UCOL and the 150-plus cultures on our campus help make us who we are. It's always a pleasure to open our doors to the community so we can share and learn about each other's cultures," she said.

"Flavour of Cultures is also a great opportunity to give our international students a feeling of home. It can be difficult for anyone to be away from their home country, so we are glad to host an event where many of our international students can enjoy food and performances that remind them of home."