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Pearl of the Islands Foundation (PIF) organised a Reflection Day to re-live the memories and experiences from IFLC 2018.

This year, in May, PIF took a group of seven students from Auckland to Sydney to showcase the Maori language and culture. They performed at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in front of an audience of over 2000 people.

The International Festival of Language and Culture (IFLC) is the largest and most prominent organisation for promoting world language and culture. It is dedicated to cultivate and educate the youth and create a platform to share their cultural heritage with similar minded peers around the world.

The boys from the prestigious Grammar School were selected at the beginning of the year following the group’s successful audition for the festival. Their performance consisted of a Waiata ā-ringa (song) and a Haka dance.

The seven students, two parents, and a representative from the Pearl of the Islands Foundation travelled to Sydney for the festival. The trip included sightseeing and multiple rehearsals leading up to the event on the 5th of May.

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The boys gained invaluable experiences during their time in Sydney. Some of the reflections they delivered on the Reflection day are attached below.

Following the speeches from the parents and the students, koha (gifts) were presented to PIF from the boys as a token of appreciation. Guests were then invited to help themselves to foods prepared by PIF members and volunteers.

PIF would like to thank the parents for their support and the trust they placed in us. We would also like to appreciate and acknowledge the resources the IFLC committee has put into the organisation.

IFLC is an annual celebration to showcase the diversity of linguistic talents from across the world. IFLC aims to promote information exchanges in support of peace, friendship, and understanding. Participants build strong ties and lasting friendships. They also raise hopes for world peace and acceptance.

The next IFLC Australia will take place in October 2019.

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Reflections from New Zealand representatives to IFLC Australia 2018

Maika

First of all, I would like to thank Whaea Ange and Matua Doug for inviting me on this trip. I would also like to give a big thank you to Yasir and the Pearl of the Islands Foundation. This was a great opportunity for me and to experience Sydney as we did was amazing. It will definitely be something to remember. We got to meet people from all around the world and some of those countries I had never heard of before. We made great memories and what made this trip better was the chance to be in Sydney with my InZone brothers, so I would also like to thank Takerai, Pukeroa, Daetona, Cruz, Rawiri and Ngawari for sharing this experience with me. It was cool to represent New Zealand at IFLC and perform the haka as much as we did. Getting to experience Sydney the way we did was just breath-taking, getting to go on a cruise through the Sydney harbour, going to Madame Tussauds and Sea Life Sydney – the list goes on.  One of the greatest things about trips like this is that us boys are still talking about the trip to this day. To finish off, I would like to apologise for not being there today, I would have loved to share this time with everyone and once again thank you to all. I’m left with an experience of a lifetime.

 

Takerei

Merhaba. Benim adim Takerei Rollo. So my name is Takerei, and just very quickly I would like to sincerely thank each and every one of you; from the people behind the scenes and to those who were there with us. On behalf of myself and the boys, we want deeply thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your massive support to get us to Sydney Australia but also your aroha, which undoubtedly made our experience much more enjoyable. However, I would certainly like to give my time and extend my (our) gratitude to a special and specific group of people. Firstly I would like to thank  The Pearl of The Islands Foundation for funding and supporting our journey every step of the way. I especially wish to thank you for providing us ‘Maori’ boys an opportunity to represent our nation, our whanau and most importantly the opportunity to express and showcase our culture but also be able to learn and experience new fantastic cultures as well. In doing so, I have no doubt that our boys have made lifelong friends but you have gifted us with a sense of awareness and opening to the world. You have made this a very special experience, one in which I will never forget until the end of my career 😊. So on behalf of myself, Pukeroa, Ngawari, Daetona, Cruze, Rawiri and Maika, Thank you! Secondly, biggest of the best thank you to Whaea Ang, Uncle Doug, Yasir and Ayse you four were nothing short of amazing, your incredible work for us and hilarious but insightful conversation allowed us to find comfort and encouragement to express ourselves. I hope our actions towards others made you proud, and from me, that performance was for the four of you, for you provided us, boys, the chance to make a difference in culture and our society and hopefully the wider world. Honestly, no words of mine can describe the magnitude of appreciation and aroha for you guys. But will say is, keep being awesome!! 😎 Lastly to the boys themselves. It was a privilege and an honour to have experienced such a thing with you fellas, I wouldn’t ask for a better bunch of boys. Thank you for your humour, your courtesy for others and your ability to lead our culture into the world. I know I may have been the ‘leader’ but a leader is nothing without people and you boys were just that. It was an honour to perform with you. So from all us boys, once again we would like to extend our gratitude towards this amazing whanau that has supported us. Hopefully, we have done you proud, from this day and the days to come. Noreira tena koutou katoa.

 

Neisha (Maika’s mum)

Firstly I would like to express my apologies for not being physically part of today’s reflection. Unfortunately, we had plans already in place. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to Yasir and The Pearl of the Islands Foundation as a whole, and of course to Whaea Ang and Matua Doug for introducing us to IFLC and taking such terrific care of our son while he was in Sydney. Maika still references the many great experiences he had while being part of such an inspiring experience. To provide children with an experience that enables them to see the world is so much bigger than what they know, to give a face to the many countries that they hear referenced on media platforms can only be of great benefit to our generations of young people going forward. We always wished our children to have a bigger life than we did, to go out and explore what the world has to offer, and make a positive impact on the places and people they visit and meet. Thank you for providing Maika’s first experience of the wider world, and being a large part of why he now wants to see very much more of it! Nga Mihi, Neisha and Brett Rhind.

 

Angela (Daetona & Cruze’s mum)

I would like to thank everyone from PIF, the board, supporters, friends and whanau for the love and support you have shown us and for allowing us to go on this trip. It was certainly one of the best! For me, the highlight was these 7 boys, 5 of which became not only an extension of my whanau but whanau to the PIF and IFLC. To come together as one and although one of our boys had lost a family member there was plenty of love and support all around. I set these boys some goals which were to make friends from all around the world and not letting language be a barrier and to travel the world. These boys were successful in achieving these but also they felt they had gained so much more. I hear them at hostel talking, sharing stories and that is months later. The first couple of weeks being back they were begging me to take them back and do it all over again. They have gained friends for life that I hope one day they will meet again. Without an event such as the ‘Colours of the World’, they would never have an experience like this. It makes me happy that they have had a glimpse of what the world has to offer as they swapped stories over the difference in education and within societies and their culture. So thank you to Amity college for hosting us, PIF for supporting and organizing this trip for us, Yasir and Ayse for helping assist with these boys, IFLC organization such a wonderful event once again and for making this and next year happen and lastly to the boys you made me and Doug so proud, even at times it was tiring you were still enthusiastic to showcase your culture. Memories we will always have and continue to share.

 

Daetona

Firstly I would like to thank the Pearl of the Islands Foundation for providing an opportunity for us young boys to experience the wider world. It has opened my eyes to things that I wasn’t aware while living in NZ but with this opportunity, it helped me to understand that language and culture isn’t a barrier to world peace. Throughout this trip, we were able to connect with other people from around the world and to this day still, keep in contact with them.  Throughout my time being a part of the International Festival Language and Culture it is yet another amazing year. Secondly, I would like to thank the IFLC for the work they put in every year to make things run so smoothly. If it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be able to experience the wider world and express our culture internationally. Last but not least would like to thank Angela (mum), Doug (dad), Yasir and Ayse for keeping us all in line and keeping things running so smoothly. Also big ups to the boys in our performance in Sydney. #IFLC2018

 

Cruze

This Aussie trip has been an amazing experience. It wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for all the support and effort given from the parents, and people that contributed money towards our expenses and most of all the Pearl of the Islands Foundation. I learnt a lot of new things and it’s been an eye-opener to the world around us from the countries I have never heard nor neither could pronounce. I enjoyed performing on stage and showcasing our culture and learning about diversity around the world. Many memories have been made and will never be forgotten, we still speak about these memories till this day, five months later. I and the boys were quite sad to find out that all the other performers had arrived two weeks earlier than us as we would have gladly loved to stay that long and spend more time with the other performers. We did haka after haka, this was the hardest part of the trip. Overall I’m happy to have done it with the boys that went couldn’t have asked for a better group and just thankful for the support to everyone that helped us out ready to continue this journey in Melbourne 2019.

 

Pukeroa

Kiora everyone, I hope you are all enjoying yourself. Quickly, I would like to thank everyone for bringing us here today and providing us the time to give back a token of appreciation to everyone that supported us on our journey in Sydney performing at the IFLC. Firstly, I would like to thank Whaea Ange, Matua Doug and Yasir for your amazing support and contribution you had in making this trip an amazing trip that it was. You guys were nothing short of awesome and your support mean a lot to all of us boys here today! From the very first day to the last day you guys were always a positive inspiration to be around and giving us positive feedback to perform at a high standard for not only us but for you and our whanau back at home. So for that thank you! Secondly, to my brothers who came with me on the trip, thank you for making this trip an unforgettable, funny and mesmerising experience! I am truly grateful to have you boys come on this trip as I wouldn’t want it to be anyone else. Thank you for making my first and the last trip performing at Sydney an amazing journey. Thank you for forming a memorable memory with you guys for the last time and for that, I am honoured and proud to have had such an awesome bunch of young men perform with me. Thank you, boys! Lastly, I would like to thank all our sponsors for everything you have for us all. We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the opportunity that you provided for us all to take part at the IFLC in Sydney. So in saying that, from me and my brothers, we appreciate and are grateful for what you have done for us, as I much I have enjoyed myself, I am thankful to you guys for making this trip possible. I wouldn’t have been able to meet all the amazing people at Sydney, all the exotic and unique cultures that were displayed at the IFLC and make lifelong friends if it weren’t for everything single one of you people here. And for that, I cannot thank you enough, for giving me the chance to make new friends, view different cultures from across the world and open my eyes to life outside of Aotearoa. A true highlight experiencing all the cultures and expressing our culture here in NZ to the world. Thank you Pearl of the Islands Foundation for everything you have done for us all, thank you to my Inzone brothers for performing on stage alongside me and thank you Whaea Ange, Uncle Douge, Yasir and Ayse for your mother and father figure in Sydney! Nga mihi aroha Kia koutou katoa! Love you all!

 

Rawiri

Kia Ora I am Rawiri and I want to thank you all for inviting me here today. I firstly want to thank Whaea Ange and Matua Doug for giving me the opportunity to go on this once and a lifetime trip to Australia. It was a terrific and astounding experience over in Sydney and it will never be forgotten. One of my best experiences was creating new friendships and meeting and greeting the new cultures and their way of life and of course their cultural performances. We all made such great friends and the tours that we had gone on were just as good, from the cruise around the Sydney harbour to Madam Tussauds and the Sydney Sea Life aquarium was just stunning. Again thank you to Yasir and the Pearl of the Islands Foundation for taking me to Australia. Pa atawhai Rawiri