Islanders will celebrate rich culture

Loud and proud: The Cook Islands community will go back to their grassroots at Te Maeva Nui in Blacktown on Saturday. Picture: Geoff Jones

Loud and proud: The Cook Islands community will go back to their grassroots at Te Maeva Nui in Blacktown on Saturday. Picture: Geoff Jones

TE Maeva Nui means "a great celebration" in the Cook Islands.

It's the ideal name for the Australian-Cook Islands Community Council's inaugural outdoor festival, which will bring Blacktown Showground to life on Saturday.

The culture will be celebrated with music, dancing, art/crafts and food.

Te Maeva Nui began as a celebration of Cook Islands' self-government and has evolved into a celebration of the Cook Islands heritage.

Sydney's biggest Cook Islands population lives in the Blacktown local government area according to community council's president Margaret Nekeare-Cowan.

Locals contributed to the Stitching the Sea exhibition at Blacktown Arts Centre until September.

It shows the storytelling tradition rand narratively within the weaving practices of Pacific communities.

"We want to preserve our language and heritage and showcase our culture to the wider community," Mrs Nekeare-Cowan said.

"It' an opportunity for our children born here to share in their family's cultural experience and take pride in their heritage.

"Some are disconnected with their culture, so this is a chance for them to embrace it and have more confidence in their identity."

Parliamentary secretary to the minister for social services Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells will open the festival.

"We hope the wider community will appreciate our culture," Mrs Nekeare-Cowan said.

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