The Kiwi contingent is garnering praise and admiration at the Pacific Arts Festival in Guam. In what has become a tradition, the group of 100 artists and performers repaid the hospitality of the Chamorro, inspiring the northern pacific nation to seek a stronger bond.
New Zealand has turned the tables, welcoming representatives from the 27 nations participating in the festival to an evening of entertainment.
Muriwai Ihakara of Toi Māori Aotearoa says, “This is our time to showcase our language and customs here in Guam so that the Pacific can see we have arrived to be part of the festival.”
Since the delegation has been in Guam the work load of promoting our arts has been non-stop.
Caren Rangi, also of Toi Maori Aotearoa says, “The festival is a huge celebration of indigenous arts and we in New Zealand are blessed that we have first and foremost the arts of Māori, but also to join the arts of the Pacific people who are living in New Zealand and it's a beautiful combination and we are really proud to bring that to the rest of the Pacific.”
Michael Borja, of Guam’s indigenous Chamorro people, received the display with appreciation and relished the opportunity to build bonds.
“This is a great impiety to see other cultures such as New Zealand and the Māori from New Zealand to show and demonstrate not just, you know, dance, but also in all kinds of other art forms, you know the sculpturing and the painting and what not. But it's a great honour to have everybody here.”
Jon Nathan DeNight of Tourism Guam says, “Everyone is really enjoying all the different cultures, the dance performances the arts and crafts, you know the visual arts. There is so much to see, so everyone is just really excited and day by day I can just see here our local people on Guåham just getting inspired to be part of the Pacific community.”
Te Whānau a Apanui capped the night off with an impressive performance, the jewel in New Zealand's arts crown.