By ISAAC LIRI
It has become the norm for the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) to have a cultural dance day at the end of every semester.
The college celebrated the cultural dance day last Saturday (June 9) with students and their families sharing the excitement and fun together.
The idea of having a cultural dance day to signify semester’s end is not a new thing for APTC; they’ve been doing it in the previous years and it has become part of their tradition on campus.
APTC country manager Dr Brad Shaw said the special thing about the day was when the students brought in their families to see the campus at Idubada (Moresby South) and celebrate the day with cultural performances in their various traditional costumes.
Like all other cultural days in schools around the country, the event is always a highlight of campus life and full of excitement.
The beat of the kundu drums and garamut keeps the tempo of the day going; chants sung in different dialects as well as shakers rattling and bodies covered in colourful paint swaying and stamping to rhythm, gives you the goose bumps.
Shaw summed it up with delight; the day was no different to previous cultural dance days on campus where everybody looked forward to it and participated with passion.
One of the highlights of the day was the East New Britons with their famous whip dance that captured everyone’s attention as they looked on in silence.
The Milne Bay dances performed their warrior dance brandishing their spears and then went on to perform the famous tapioca dance which is always a crowd favourite.
As usual, the Highlands traditional attire stood out as most attractive and beautiful with colourful paintings and head dresses made from bird of paradise plumage.
“This cultural dance day concept provides an opportunity for all students to celebrate and get together for the end of the semester,” Shaw said.
“Their families and friends had the opportunity to experience life at the campus.
“It was good for each province and region to have exposure to various cultural dresses and dances.
In these sorts of events, students are able to present their true selves in traditional costumes. Students are proud of their cultural heritage and their home provinces.
“Apart from all the PNG cultural dance performances, we had 10 Solomon Islanders perform. In the past we have had performances from Kiribati, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Nauru.
“This shows that here at APTC we not only cater for Papua New Guineans but for other Pacific island nations as well.”
APTC has currently 122 students in total enrolled this semester, with 10 male students from the Solomon Islands.
In terms of gender APTC enrolled 25 female students, with six of them enrolled in trade sector programmes.
APTC is funded by the Australian Government and delivered in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea.
APTC is the Australian Government’s major investment in technical and vocational education training across the Pacific with campuses in five countries – Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands – and delivers internationally recognised qualifications in tourism and hospitality.
By ISAAC LIRI