Successful first Kia Orana Week wraps up

Kia Orana week has come to an end. It has been a successful week, of showcasing different elements of our culture and heritage to visitors on the island.  With an average of around forty visitors a day to the various activities on show, Kia Orana Week is set to grow.  The activities have helped to highlight Cook Islands way of life to visitors.  The Vaka Pride prizegiving for the latest round of Vaka Pride judging was also held during this week.

During the last couple of days, visitors have enjoyed demonstrations of making traditional quilts (Tivaivai), fabric painting, tie-dying, coconut husking, raw fish making, making traditional medicine, and Cook Islands dancing.  The coconut husking was demonstrated by CI Tourism staff and included the grating of the coconut, squeezing of the coconut meal for the milk, and lots of insights into the uses of the different parts of the coconut tree and coconut flesh.

Visitors were provided with a treat when professional Chef Tokerau “Tooks” Turia of ‘Coco Putt’ demonstrated the making of the local delicacy “Ika Mata” or Cook Islands style raw fish.  In true CI style there was plenty to spare for tasting at the end.  Visitors were also in for another treat when Cook Islands Tourisms’ own Ani Katu shared a sacred family recipe for a traditional herbal medicine with the audience.  Visitors helped to gather the plants needed for this herbal poultice right off the beach, then watched a demonstration of how to prepare the medicine.  Ani shared her knowledge of traditional ‘Maori’ medicine in the Cook Islands and the ailments and remedies she knows of.

Friday 23rd of March wrapped up Kia Orana Week with a dance performance by Avarua primary school, dance lessons from the students, and finally a performance from the team from Cook Islands Tourism Corporation.

Visitors and passing locals were provided with a week of entertainment, fun and authentic activities with Meitaki hospitality right through Kia Orana Week.  A visitor from Canada commented that “Kia Orana week is relaxed but very informative. We have been to Monday and Tuesday’s events, and again on Thursday and we have enjoyed every minute of it.”

The next event called “Meitaki Week” is scheduled for the 25th to the 29th of June 2018.  Meitaki week will showcase all the same activities as Kia Orana week, but will also include wood carving and traditional massage.  Careers day focusing on the Maritime sector will kick off Meitaki Week on Monday the 25th of June, through celebrating the International Day of the Seafarer in conjunction with Maritime Cook Islands, with more details to come.