Hamilton City Council with the help of Community Organisation Grants Scheme, Hamilton Community Arts Council, Trust Waikato, SkyCity Hamilton Community Trust and Wintec are collaboratively sponsoring and organising this special cultural festivals.
It has started last Sunday on 14th March with the street parade. However, we didn't go to watch the street parade because we were invited to our friend's house to celebrate his birthday (cum last BBQ before it gets too cold).
What is Indigo- A Gathering of Cultures Festivals?
It's a week long Festival with three main goals:
- To educate people about the diverse cultures within Hamilton.
- To celebrate the richness and colour of cultures in Hamilton.
- To communicate and strengthen understanding between all communities. (from Indigo booklet)
On Tueday 16th March, my kids and I went to Waikato Migrant Centre to see what's happening there. We arrived at 2 p.m. (the event runs from 1-3 p.m. since Monday 15th to Friday 19th). At first we thought that nothing much was going on. But once we went to the designated room,we could see some interesting displays. We could see some crafts, photos and some people who were weaving a special kind of leaves. They said they were from Kiribati- an island nation in the Pasific Ocean. The products look similar to our traditional mat though we use different kinds of leaves. They used flax leaves and Malays normally use pandanus leaves or palm leaves. We exchanged some stories about the crafts and they even asked me if I wanted to try. But Hafizah was already tired as it was her nap time. (around 2.30 p.m.). So, I was just looking around and took some pictures. Before we left, we went to the other part where they put some displays of Korean War Photos and some posters, Philippines Traditional Clothes and some fish crackers too. Philip Yeung, the Ethnic Communities Coordinator (Hamilton City Council) invited me to come again the next day as it would a natural painting demonstration from a Taiwanese artist.
-18th March 2010-
I missed yesterday's event as I was quite tired by the time we left playcentre. Plus I didn't want to miss today's event as it sounded more interesting. I was right because there were plenty of things that I could try on today. There were origami (paper folding art), calligraphy (the ancient art of brush writing), Ikebana (the art of flower arrangement), some Japenese cracker and sweets and Green tea was also served to visitors. I started of with the origami. I've tried this art before as it's not really new to me but I always never be good at it. Why? It's actually quite complicated unless you are the expert in folding the paper and manage to turn it into something like a paper bird, boat, windmill, a box and many more. Fathini and I were taught how to made cicadas and boxes. Though we struggled a bit, the
person who taught us was very patient and kind. We could brought our creations back plus with some other souvenirs from her. There were also some Japanese traditional games like a spinning top
lain sikit dr gasing kita ye, board games, small bean bags game and two balls that was attached to a string and bowls. tak tahu apa namanya lps tu lupa nak tanya. huhu
I tasted the Green Tea when they offered me in a small cup. My daughters ate some seaweed and yam crackers. Half an hour later, the lady who was incharged of the Ikebana demo arrived. Some of the other visitors were waiting for her too. "Kado" or "Ikebana" was developed by Sen-no-Rikyu in conjunction with the tea ceremony. (there was no tea ceremony as it should only be performed by the expert). There are over three thousand styles of flower arrangement in Japan! The lady (Tokoki) told us she chose the basic three dimensions arrangement. That means, the arrangement should face up to
three directions. The key was to keep it as simple as possible. We (the other visitors and I) had our chance to try when Tokoki gave us each a wet sponge in a clean yoghurt containers. I chose only two long leaves, two plants and a peach sunflower. I didn't had time to try the calligraphy or it is known as
"shodo". I could see some other visitors tried to write some characters on "washi" (Japanese paper). Again Hafizah was already tired by the time I finished doing my Ikebana. We had to leave the place and thank all the Japanese ladies who were so kind to let us learnt and tried the crafts and their food.
I just wish I could attend tomorrow's event as there will be some cooking demonstration from Middle
East Women. But we normally stay at home on Friday because my hubby will use the car to go to the mosque for Friday prayer and then do our weekly shopping.