Riverlights to fly Tongan flag for first time
For the Tongan community, this weekend’s Riverlights Multicultural Festival will be as much about learning from other cultures as sharing their own.
It will be the first time the south Pacific nation has joined the cultural village where they will be sharing their dancing, music and dress.
“This is a whole community thing,” Moana Langi, founder of the Petani Pacific Islander Wellbeing Services, said.
“The elders and the parents get behind it.”
Parents have made the dress their children will be dancing in, and placing it on their children is a demonstration of love.
“It connects them to their parents and grandparents, it’s something that’s handed down from our ancestors,” Ms Langi said.
The festival also provides the opportunity for the self-professed insular community to engage with others.
“We keep to ourselves and do our thing,” Ms Langi said.
“This connects us to other cultures, not just our own community.
“We can learn from other cultures.”
Having outgrown The Levee, the site has expanded to include a food precinct in the Riverside Carpark. The river show, again developed by Curious Legends, will tell the Indian tale of the tiger, the jackal and the wise man. More than 20 cultures will feature, including Bangladesh, Latin America and France.
The festival will run from 3pm to 9pm on Saturday, October 13. For more information visit maitlandriverlights.com.au.