Auckland Multicultural Society Inc.
NEWSLETTER September 2013President’s Report
Since our last newsletter, we have had the Multicultural Expo 2013 on 4th August 2013. This was a highly successful event which was enjoyed by all those who attended. Present was Milessa Lee, MP who has always attended our functions. This time she represented the Minister of Ethnic Affairs who could not attend. Melissa opened the Multicultural Expo 2013. We were delighted to see Dame Susan Devoy who also attended our function. I had intended to invite her to say a few words on her role as Race Relations Counciliator, but due to her mix and mingle with our members, I did not get an opportunity to call her up on the stage. Perhaps next time.
We had 21 performances throughout the afternoon, ably compered by two young ladies, Rez Ricardo and Makanaka Tuwe. This is also the first time we were using our own sound system which was donated to us by the Polish Association. Mr Kevin Crossley, who had kindly checked over the system and purchased a few things that were required, operated the systems for us at the Expo.
We also had a number of display stalls from different groups and everyone had the opportunity to view the things on display. Special mention must be made of Nathan Homestead from Manurewa, who provided the children with materials to make all sorts of things and then take them home. This was highly appreciated by the Society; thank you. We also had three food stalls where people could buy ethnic food.
We look forward to another Expo in 2014. I would like to thank Ana Maria deVos for the time and effort she put in to organise this highly successful Multicultural Expo 2013.
As the president of AMS I was invited to attended the Viva Electrica concert at the Dorothy Winstone Hall on Saturday 31st August 2013. This bi annual concert, once again was highly successful. The quality of the competition was very high as they were competing for a prize money of $7000.00 in total. The guests of honour were Melissa Lee and Dame Susan Devoy. Vivien Chow and her team from ASIANZ should be congratulated.
Our next event will be our Annual Christmas dinner which will be held on Saturday 7th December 2013, so please keep that date free, for us to enjoy the spirit of Christmas with our members and friends.
Best wishes and Tashi Delek
Tibetans Celebrate Dalai Lama’s Birthday
Just as the Irish celebrate the birthday of their patron saint St Patrick, the Welsh honour their patron saint St David and the Chileans hold a celebration day on July 15th for their patron saint Our Lady of Mt Carmel, the Tibetan community honours its spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama each year on his birthday. Members of Friends of Tibet (Auckland) and many supporters joined together for an evening function to celebrate the birthday of the Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness. There was a big attendance on the evening of 7th July a St Andrew’s Hall in Birkenhead, despite cold winds and frequent winter showers. Inside the hall the atmosphere was warm and friendly with Buddhist priests and followers enjoying the occasion. Also present were a growing number of young Tibetans who have migrated to New Zealand or been accepted as refugees. Among the guests were acting-president of the NZ Peace Foundation, Mrs Yvonne Duncan and her husband Harry. She helped host a special meeting of Foundation members with the Dalai Lama near the end of his recent visit to New Zealand.
Mr Thuten Kesang, president of the Auckland Multicultural Society, who is also the chairman of Friends of Tibet (Auckland) extended a warm welcome to all present and thanked everyone of their contributions to what followed as a sumptuous meal reflecting the cuisine of people of many cultures present. Focal point in the hall was a centerpiece photograph of the group’s spiritual leader with flowers on a table on which katas or silk scarves were placed by those who wished to pay their respects.
Thuten introduced two refugees who had the support of the New Zealand Government to be accepted as refugees. They who managed to escape from the occupied territory of Tibet by travelling through Mongolia. The two young men Chopel and Nyendak had been accepted for an orientation programme at the Refugee and Migrant Centre at Mangere. Mr Harry Duncan, retired from a distinguished military career commented to friends present that he served for a period as manager and co-ordinator of programmes at the Mangere Centre. All present applauded the two young men who seemed to appreciate the warmth of the reception given to them. Another special feature of the evening was a Tibetan traditional dance presentation of a Tibetan dances by Kunsang Jigme, whose authentic costumes, musical instruments leg and arm movements fascinated those present. His performances provided a good example of how traditional dances learned in one’s homeland can be carried and shared with people of other cultures in a new land far away from their own.
After a highly enjoyable buffet-style dinner the audience views a special video production directed by Mr Kevin Crossley, who followed the recent journey of His Holiness The Dalai Lama who presented speeches and workshops to large gatherings in Christchurch, Dunedin and Auckland.
Report by John Buckland
Multicultural Expo Celebrates Diversity
Members of the Auckland Polish Association Helena Wanda Pele Ellis and Dr Tomasz Gorecki went to great lengths to make their traditional costumes look perfect. In the background is Mr Ataur Rahman Photograph: John Buckland
In welcoming participants from many cultures as well as guests and friends of the Auckland Multicultural Society at the opening of the annual Multicultural Expo, the President Mr Thuten Kesang said this was a time to celebrate and share experiences.The event, the fifth held at the Mt Eden War Memorial Hall on 4th August attracted many supporters of the groups who displayed their organizations and activities as well as the general public. The theme for this year’s event, said Thuten was Traditional Music and Costumes of ethnic groups which have made Auckland their home.
The groups, most of whom are members of the Society, set up information stalls around the perimeter of the hall, leaving space for families and friends to be seated to enjoy a non-stop three-hour programme by costumed dancers performing their traditional music.
Planning of the event and negotiations to bring leaders of cultural groups to take part were in the capable hands of the Society’s treasurer Mrs Ana Maria de Vos, herself a talented and expressive performer. It was a full-on day for her but she had the support of two attractively dressed comperes on stage, Makanaka Tuwe (Zimbabwe) and Rez Ricardo (Kurdish Communty.) Ana Maria also took on the role of meeting guests arriving at the Expo such as Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner and Mr John Palino, mayoral candidate at the forthcoming local body elections.Thuten Kesang welcomed to the stage Melissa Lee, List MP for the National Government who said she was representing Ethnic Affairs Minister Judith Collins, who was unable to attend. Thuten praised Melissa’s support for the work of the Society and in return, she acknowledged the efforts of long-standing committee members who kept the Society active.
Mr Thuten Kesang QSM, AMS President, Mr Bernard Gomes, Senior Ethnic Affairs Advisor, John Buckland, Life Member,Melissa Lee MP and Mr Ataur Rahman, MNZM, Honorary Consul for Bangladesh Photo: Gwen Kesang
Commenting on the recently announcement of Labour policy of restricting Asian groups from purchasing multiple homes, the MP said that as the first Korean to gain a place in Parliament, she had lived in Korea for nine years but in New Zealand for 25years. There was no way she should be restricted from buying property, she said, to clapping from the audience.
To a small group of those he had met earlier, Melissa said she had recently bought a home but it needed extensive renovation. She was proud of her son Ethan who was training at the West End Rowing Club as an oarsman, his height and fitness being a strong factor in his progress. The Multicultural Expo provided a valuable time for those taking part to interact with people of other cultures and to help understand their thinking and points of view.
Throughout the day, the Nathan Homestead from Manurewa kept the children occupied by providing them with games and things to make which was really enjoyed by the children. All the materials were supplied by the Nathan Homestead.
Dancing by Folklore Chileno Latino
The afternoon was taken up with more than 20 performances by cultural groups appearing in their striking costumes. Displaying a huge bouquet of red roses in the front of the stage, the Bulgarian Roses gave a spirited performance. Some talented young Tamil boy and girl dancers trained at the NZ School of Tamil dance followed. In contrast, dance proponent Rae Storey introduced the English Maypole Dancers from Meadowbank School. Jane Luscombe’s flamboyant Spanish Dancers then took the then took the stage in colourful swirling costumes, followed by the more subdued but pleasant melodies offered by the Ukranian Nation Singing Group.
With hardly a break, the graceful French provincial dancers La Burree gave a seasoned performance. To follow were the Sunshine Iranian dancers and then, the Oleksandr Radchenko singers. Providing even more variety to the programme was the Printable Reality team offering a poetry reading and then the highly enthusiastic Auckland Chinese Philharmonic Orchestra took the stage with a soprano soloist. They included their interpretation of the Maori waiata “Po kare kare ana” which was warmly received.
Wearing vibrant yellow silk costumes, the Joy International Folk Dancers from Taiwan lived up to their name with wide smiles and graceful movement. A Spanish guitarist duo Richard and Sandy received a big round of applause for their astonishing guitar skills,. The young children of the Philippines Community took a little time to get into the risky rhythm of the jump dance between bamboo poles due to a short recording glitch, but there was strong audience applause. Romania, Dalmatian and Polynesian dances and music provided even more variety. Then the Kurdish community provided a Middle Eastern flavour to the day with a Bangladeshi item to follow.
The audience was wowed with an exhibition of the dance craze ZUMBA, and then Ana Maria de Vos and her team took the stage bringing vibrant Folklore Chileno Latino rhythms to the audience. Belly dancers representing Middle Eastern culture brought this extraordinarily diverse afternoon’s entertainment to a close. Tibetan-born Thuten Kesang summed up the event as another successful Auckland Multicultural Society occasion and expressed warm thanks to all who played a part. Special thanks were expressed to the Expo sponsors COGS
Report and Photographs: John Buckland
Christmas function 2015
A visit from the Dutch Sinter Klaas with his two aids who were all painted in black as Black Pete and carried a sack with gift for some of the AMS members
Our end of your function was held in conjunction with Ruritanian International Dance Club.
We celebrated a Christmas theme on Saturday 12th December 2015 at the Dutch Club’s Holland House in Penrose from 6 .30 – 10.30 pm.
Unfortunately it clashed with a concert at Mt Smart Stadium and therefore our members who came to the function had to park streets away from the venue. However, we did manage to start the evening on time.
The Dutch club catered for the function; we had a three course Dutch dinner which was enjoyed by the 70 members and friends who attended the function.
The evening started by me welcome everyone. The spokesman of the Dutch club spoke briefly to welcome all, then Julia, the president of the Ruritanian International Dance Club, gave a brief welcome also to all our members.
As the food was being served, Derek Williams led us all to a singing of 2 Christmas carols.
During the coffee afterwards, we were divided into teams for a quiz competition which was led by Derek. There were 12 questions. One team got all 12 questions right, so they were presented with a prize.
We also had a visit from the Dutch Sinter Klaas with his two aids who were all painted in black as Black Pete and carried a sack with gifts. Sinter Klaas then spoke and read out a few people’s names and they good that they had done. He presented each one of them with a gift.
All those who came to the Christmas party were asked to bring a $5 gift wrapped present, to be donated to the Salvation Army to distribute these to the needy families on Christmas Day. Ana Maria will deliver them to the Mt Roskill Salvation Army office on Monday 14th December 2015.
After dinner we drew the raffle prizes whose tickets were sold during the evening to cover the cost of the hall hire. All prizes were donated by our members. There were about 13 prizes.
Derek led us in singing a few more Christmas Carols. Then it was time for us to do some dancing which was led by Jay’s International Dance group, Bronwen, Rae and Ana Maria. Everyone was asked to get up and join in the dancing.
Thuten gave thanks to the Dutch Club and then wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year.
The evening was enjoyed by all us
19th Lakeside Festival Celebrates Cultures
13th March 2016
The group called Colour China in a spectacular umbrella dance
It became evident from the start of the Auckland Multicultural Society’s Lakeside Festival on 13 March that it would show dramatically the diversity of cultures making up Auckland and North Shore communities. Two comperes, working well together took the stage. The first, president of the Society and Tibetan community leader, Thuten Kesang QSM is the official representative in New Zealand for His Holiness the Dalai Lama. The second presenter of the show was Annieliza, a Filipina, who is married to a Dutch migrant, Mr Hermsen. They are both members of the Auckland Dutch dancers group.
The two MC’s presented a smooth-running brilliantly colourful stage show bringing together performers of 17 different ethnic backgrounds from Asia, Europe, South America and other countries who have made Auckland and the North Shore their homes. North Shore MP Maggie Barry, Minister for the Environment and the Elderly officially opened the festival, saying with pride that she has an Irish background.
Another guest, Melissa Lee, the first Korean to be elected a member of New Zealand’s Parliament, praised the organising committee which has worked for 18 years to stage successive multicultural festivals at the Lakeside venue.
There was competition for audiences on the day as the annual dragon boat championships on Lake Pupuke drew large crowds. However, the lively amplified sounds of multicultural song and dance attracted a stream of curious onlookers to the outdoor theatre joining the main audience, some of whom stayed to enjoy the performances. One thing was certain, North Shore has an unexcelled asset in Killarney Park, Lake Pupuke and the adjacent PumpHouse as a popular continuing venue for public enjoyment of the city’s outdoor environment.
A French flavour was introduced into the afternoon show when La Burée folk dancers took the stage. In complete contrast, the fiery and flamboyant Spanish Fiesta dancers in full length swirling skirts captivated the audience. An expressive dancer, Mouzhgan representing the Sunshine Iranian Dancers wearing men’s shirt and trousers amused all with an impersonation of Iranian men-folk.
Guitarists Sandy and Richard from Devonport demonstrated their superb mastery of their instruments as a husband and wife team, accompanied by Sandy’s sister, Marilyn with castañuelas.
A talented Korean dancer and teacher Leah Park performed the Korean Anrang dance. Ever popular, the Meadowbank Maypole Dancers represented the English culture. The MY Golden Ballard’s represented by two Chinese musicians on stage, one playing haunting music with a short wooden flute and the other with a traditional Chinese guitar performed the duet Ocarina. They were Chuck Zhang and Minette Tang.
The widely travelled Middle East belly dancers Elektra from the ABBRACIA School of Dance in striking costumes were greatly appreciated by the audience. Monique Feron “Zahara” was a pioneer of belly dance in New Zealand, was trained in Egypt and was in demand as the resident dancer on the most luxurious cruise vessel on the Nile.
A dancer from Tibet, Kunsang Jigme, was the first ever to appear at the Lakeside concert and captured the essence of traditional Tibetan dance and music in a solo presentation.
In keeping with the cultural sharing theme of the festival, the Colour China talented dancers delighted the audience. The Auckland Tamil Community Education group brought the Poonga Tamil dancers to the stage to demonstrate their performances developed over the past 12 years.
The most diverse group in the festival called the Joy International Folk Dancers blended the cultures of Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Europe and Russia in their ranks. Among their performing members are also Armenians, Greek, Israeli and Turkish dancers who take part in city festivals.
A Spanish guitarist provided the music for Spanish artist and dance teacher, Maria Elena in a display for Flamenco Tierra Mar Nuevo NZ. Two outstanding performers from the Csardas Hungarian Dance Group, Simon and Gyorgyi performed an energetic Hungarian dance. They were followed by Irena, an outstanding belly dancer who was warmly applauded.
Performing a lively Spanish Dance by the Spanish Fiesta Dance troupe
The final group called Folklore Chileno Latino, under direction of director Ana Maria de Vos are celebrating their 16th anniversary as a dance group. They brought the traditional dancers of South America, already well known for their performances at multicultural events, festivals and weddings. Ana Maria also made history for being the first appointed Latin American Justice of the Peace in NZ. She is also is the treasurer and volunteer co-ordinator of events presented by the Auckland Multicultural Society. Ana Maria teamed up in a delightful folk dance with Edit and their potential male suitor, the strongly built Colan.
As the audience sensed the show was nearly over and at Ana Maria’s bidding, dozens leapt to their feet and joined the South Americans dance on stage, celebrating the spirit of the Auckland Multicultural Society’s focus on collaboration, sharing and togetherness between cultures.
The event was closed by the president, Thuten Kesang who called on stage all the executive members of the Auckland Multicultural Society. He thanked them for the wonderful job they had done of organising the event. Special thanks were expressed to Ana Maria de Vos who engaged and co-ordinated the performers and John Buckland for making notes and reporting on the festival. Above all, he expressed his appreciation of the performers and the audience for their input to the success of the 19th Lakeside Multicultural Festival..
AMS executive committee members on stage are from left: Thuten Kesang (president & Tibetan community), Ana Maria deVos (Folklore Chieno Latino), Derek Williams ( Welsh community), Rani Thuraisundaram (Tamil community), John Buckland ( Life member English community),S.K. Thuraisunderam(NZ Tamil Senior Citizen's Association), Atuar Rahman ( Bangladesh community)
We wish to thank The LION FOUNDATION who has given us a grant to cover our venue hire and the Sound System operator for the 19th Lakeside Multicultural Festival 2015