COOKS GAMES TO CELEBRATE CULTURAL TRADITIONS

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More than 1,000 nose flutes on hand

RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (Cook Islands News, Nov. 13, 2008) – With less than a year before the 2009 Pacific Mini Games, the Ministry of Cultural Development is well underway with preparations for cultural components of the event.

The ministry is in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies at the games and the 2009 Te Maeva Nui will play a major part.

The cultural competition will take place between 11 September and 20 September.

Culture secretary Makiuti Tongia says the 2009 event will follow the theme of ‘Kiriti mau tai – ve’eve’e aroa (welcome and farewell)’ which will also be used during the opening and closing ceremonies.

All outer island teams competing in the competition will be asked to stay on during the Pacific Games to enjoy the games and be a part of it in any way they can.

Furthermore, each visiting Pacific Games country will be allocated a Te Maeva Nui team who will accompany them as they enter the stadium – the winning Te Maeva Nui items will be performed at the ceremonies.

Already, the ministry has over 1000 vivo (nose flutes) that will be used during the games. Workshops have already started and will run through to June next year for the making of the kaara (big pate) and vivo.

Tongia says that each time a medal ceremony is held during the games, a kaara, 10 pu (conch shell) and 10 vivo will be sounded at the venue and a person will be on hand to turou the medal winners to the podium.

The ministry is also looking at possibly having all medal presenters in traditional dress and each medallist awarded a ei katu.

For the ei katu, the ministry is looking at Vaka Puaikura presenting ei katu full of coloured flowers for activities in their district, Nikao using white flowers for their events and the remaining venues to use greenery.

The composer’s competition for the theme song of the games is still on.

The song must follow the theme of "Share the Moments" and must have two verses in Cook Islands Maori and the bridge or chorus must be in papa’a.

The competition is restricted to Cook Islanders and Permanent Residents.

The application form and information package will be available on the ministry website – www.mocd.gov.ck Competition closes on 31 March 2009

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