At BestStart Totara Park, we aspire to celebrate and affirm the identity, culture and language of all children. One of the ways in which we achieve this is through cultural celebrations and events. In the months of August, September and October, in partnership with our whanau and local community, we celebrated Tongan, Chinese and Māori language weeks. It was beautiful to learn more about some of our beautiful diverse cultures here at BestStart Totara Park.
In celebrating Chinese Language week, we were extremely grateful to have Susan in to help us make dumplings. We explored making traditional fans and learned about the significance of the Chinese dragon and we were able to revisit prior learning of the ‘Chinese New Year’ song. Thank you to Susan and Tong who shared and displayed some of their most treasured items from their culture for whanau and tamariki to enjoy.
To celebrate Māori language week, tamariki and kaiako had the pleasure of welcoming Nanny Pine in to share beautiful waiata. She kindly shared her fried bread recipe, which the tamariki enjoyed making, frying and eating. We also welcomed Joanne who shared her tāonga with us (whāriki and piu piu). To end the week, we made healthy smoothies, exploring the different ingredients in te reo Maori.
To celebrate Tongan language week, we worked collaboratively with the Sekona fāmili to create a magnificent display and to make a traditional Tongan drink called ‘otai. We welcomed pineapple pie and panakeke also. Delicious! A big thanks to our experts that come in to teach and learn alongside us. Although we immerse tamariki authentically and meaningfully in their identity, culture and language every day, these celebrations provide us with greater opportunities to connect with our whanau and continue to upskill in order to improve outcomes for all children.