Thursday, August 5
August 4 is Constitution Day in the Cook Islands, celebrating the day the country achieved self-governance 45 years ago.
Te Maeva Nui takes place during this week and is a festival of the performing arts.
In some years outer islands dance teams come to Rarotonga but this year there’s no money available to fund their travel, no doubt due to the Toagate affair, a saga of serial stupidity which cost us millions of dollars and will continue to do so for years to come. (If you don’t know what ‘Toagate’ is – and really want to - you can Google it to find out more. Here in the Cook Islands we just wish it would go away).
Te Maeva Nui always begins with International Night, a variety show with performances by local expatriate communities, champion dancers and overseas cultural dance teams.
This video features extracts from the first half of the show and includes singer Tara Kauvai, the Kiribati community, our male and female dancers of the year, Miss Cook Islands, the Philippines and Slovenia. Yes, you read that right! The Academic Folk Dance Group from Maribor in Slovenia has been coming here for several years and is very popular.
Saturday’s International Night is followed by the choir competition on Sunday while the cultural dance contest continues for the rest of the week.
The Ministry of Cultural Development is filming all the shows and will be issuing a DVD of this year's festival in a month or so. The DVD from the Dancer of the Year competition earlier this year has now been released. You can check out prices, including overseas postage, on the ministry website.