Latest News

Sri Lankan boy embraces Kapa Haka

Sri Lankan boy embraces Kapa Haka

  • Ratings12345

(By Amy Childs, Waiariki Polytechnic Journalism School)

Correction – we mistakenly referred to Anuja as Indian, this should have been Sri Lankan, our apologies!

A 12 year old Sri Lankan boy from Rotorua has embraced the Maori culture and recently performed with his school at their Kapa Haka competition on Oct 27.

Anuja Palihawadana who attends Mokoia Intermediate School is originally from Sri Lanka and has been living in New Zealand for two and a half years.

He has been doing kapa haka since shortly after he arrived in New Zealand when he was a student at West End Primary School & Devon Intermediate School in New Plymouth.

Anuja said he is very interested in te reo Maori and he did the kapa haka competition because he wanted to be a part of representing his school.

Performing made me feel really happy and I want to keep doing kapa haka when I go to high school,” he said.

Wharekahika Clarke, Mokoia Kapa haka tutor said he selected Anuja for the kapa haka because he was a good strong singer and showed a lot of commitment.

“Over the last four months Anuja has started to understand the culture more and in time he will grasp and come to grips with tikanga Maori,” he said.

Mr Clarke said he was impressed not only with Anujas participation and involvement in Maori culture but also to see the passion coming through during his performance.

“He stood out to me by far, particularly in the haka,” he said. “He may not be Maori but he sure performed like one. He’s a real haka man.”

Kapa haka Judge, Raimona Pene said when he sees or hears that kapa haka has grasped the interest of people other than Maori, he is overwhelmed with pride.

Knowing that, the very essence of manaakitanga that flows so freely within the kapa haka environment reaches and connects with like spirited people,” he said.

Anuja’s dad, Ajantha Palihawadana said his son was fascinated with the Maori culture and he likes to help represent their talents.

“I was very proud to watch Anuja and his group’s abilities when they performed at the kapa haka on the weekend,” he said.



Latest Tweets

  • DigitalMaori@BBCClick @Microsoft @Xbox @ExtremeTech clicked just as I sent my tweet. fascinating read. I'm buying both in a few weeks. can't wait2 play about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@BBCClick @Microsoft @Xbox @ExtremeTech just saw on squakbox that PS4 has sold 7m units about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@MorganGodfery @Waiariki_Cowboy bro all parties have the hat out. Some will get lots, others will still work on heart #mana about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriAmazing lightning strikes all across #Rotorua night skies. Meanwhile boys still playing Minecraft... about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriA cornerstone of backbeat Pacific & Celtic rhythms check out @PacificCurls for gig updates, festivals and beautiful Pacific & Celtic sounds. about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @PacificCurls: Kia ora! Noa'ia! Warm Greetings! Just setting up our very first Twitter account! :) Love to all and stay warm, dry and sa… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@misstahi @HemiHorne yes please that would be awesome about 5 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@traceyrcooper @n8tvaffairs @publicaddress perhaps we all need to figure out how to better work 2gether? about 5 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@justjenine and now my 9yr son wants to teach me. So cool. about 5 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@traceyrcooper @n8tvaffairs @publicaddress I do. Tv3 got blocked, TvNZ got blocked. We walked out and didn't cover the last day #solidarity about 5 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@chrisclaynz kia ora Chris. Awesome brother. Plz email me Can't wait to hear more. about 5 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @misstahi: @misstahi: Amazing new exhibition in Wellington central - Johnson Witehira's Land of Tara #maori #taranaki… about 5 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @publicaddress: New post: A little journalistic solidarity with Native Affairs and @Digita… about 5 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@RichDecibels @Loomio kia ora Rich. Awesome! Will be in touch soon. Exciting. about 5 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriOccupyNZ interviews Hone Harawira at #Mana #AGM about 6 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@AnkyraDAnatolia @VignaMichela @mycrixus that's correct PUKANA!! about 6 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriHOME!! Love that smell of the forest, the sulphur, the rain here in #Rotorua. Many many thanks @gnat for the invite to #kiwifoo. Kia ora! about 6 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@VignaMichela @mycrixus @AnkyraDAnatolia so I just said "powerful pukana cousin Manu!" in te reo #Maori about 6 days ago
  • DigitalMaori@VignaMichela @mycrixus @AnkyraDAnatolia kia ora. Manu/Crixus of the tribe Te Arawa in NZ is pulling a pukana, eyes big, tongue out #Maori about 6 days ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @N8TVAFFAIRSTV: Coming up on Native Affairs: Tuhoe campaigners yesterday in Whakatane marching against the latest armed police... http:/… about 6 days ago