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UNITY AND DIVERSITY

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Manawatu_iconAugust, the month of cultural celebration in Palmerston North, is fast approaching.

Organisers of the annual Unity and Diversity and the International Food Festival have gone all out to plan even bigger and brighter events than in previous years.

Held on August 17,  U&D, is a celebration of Massey University’s  diverse range of cultures through performances such as music, skits, and dance.

This year, U&D will show up to 15 acts including performances from Manawatahi, Pacific Island (PI), the VIVA choir, Fire, and Papa New Guinea Massey clubs.

The performers will be predominantly Massey students, and include a multitude of students from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

The event was previously run by the Massey University Student’s Association, but this year Massey Club Development Officer, Gemma Lindegren, has stepped up to organise the event.

Lindegren said last year’s event wasn’t very successful, incurring a loss; however she hopes to turn things around.

“This year we have started organising early and have a committee that has several Massey departments represented.

“We also are trying new initiatives so that the student groups feel more like this is their event.”

These included having an opportunity to be on the organising committee, prizes for the groups that sold the most tickets, and opportunities to promote the group in the foyer during the show.”

One of the highlights of last year’s event was a song by a Chinese student, accompanied by an American student, Lindegren said.

“They sang a mixture of Chinese and English, and it just showed what U&D is about. It was beautiful.”

Aviation student and member of the Fiji club, Joeli Nagera, is excited about taking part in the event.

“This is going to be my second year performing, so I’m looking forward to another thrilling year of unique performances that I’ve never encountered before.”

Unity and Diversity, held at the Speirs Centre, will feature two performances, at 4pm and 7.30pm.

The International Food Festival will be held on August 14 on concourse, during the common break. It will give students a chance to share their culture through food from their country of origin.

“Hopefully there will be heaps of yummy options for students and staff to sample,” Lindegren said.

August also brings cultural celebrations for Ramadan, for the 30 days from July 9, and Pakistani Independence, on July 14.

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