Cultural diversity to be celebrated

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Variety is the spice of life – and that is exactly what Waitaki Girls’ High School hopes to celebrate at its gala today.

The bi-annual event has swung around again, this time with a twist.

The school’s last event was held in 2019 on the day of the Christchurch terror attack, and Parent Teacher Association president Elizabeth King said it was an awful night.

“There were people there who had children in Christchurch, and some children had relatives who were affected by the attack,” Mrs King said.

This year’s gala was about bringing the community together, she said.

To achieve this, the gala was themed “the world on our doorstep”.

It was the first time the gala had a theme, and it would focus on “making everyone feel involved in the school and celebrated”.

Pupils had been encouraged to talk about their cultures and work together to produce stalls for the event.

Some groups would make food, while others would run activities such as henna painting, and the school’s kapa haka and Pasifika groups would perform.

While no-one could travel overseas, Mrs King thought it was a good opportunity to bring Waitaki’s existing diversity to the forefront.

“We thought ‘why don’t we celebrate the people and culture at the school?’.”

There would also be musical entertainment, offering people the chance to sit down and enjoy some food and each other’s company.

The school’s beloved haunted house would return, and there would be bouncy castles for younger children.

Mrs King said the event was an important fundraiser for the school, after it was unable to hold any fundraisers last year because of Covid-19 disruptions.

Money raised would go towards new outdoor seating and shade areas for the school campus.

The gala will be held at Waitaki Girls’ today from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.