Chinese Culture Adorns New Zealand’s Largest Street Festival
WELLINGTON, Mar 28 (NNN-AGENCIES) – The Cuba Street Precinct in New Zealand’s capital here, came alive over the weekend, as Chinese lion dances and traditional Chinese music adorned New Zealand’s largest outdoor arts and music festival, CubaDupa.
The event was forced to pivot in 2019, to an off-street version, due to the Christchurch Mosque tragedies, and in 2020, it was unable to proceed due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
However, the 2021 CubaDupa came back with its most ambitious programme ever. Wellington’s vibrant cultures have been celebrated with 500 performances by more than 1,750 artistes, across 46 stages and creative zones, 20 parades, over 120 food vendors, and over 19 hours of curated entertainment. Record crowds, over 100,000 are expected over the weekend.
Festival Director, Gerry Paul, acknowledged the event as “the most diverse and creative festival in New Zealand.”
“The streets were pumping, and alive with colours, music, and tantalising smells from the street feast. It’s the busiest we have ever seen CubaDupa, and the atmosphere was electric. The artistes, audience, suppliers, vendors – everyone was just smiling ear to ear, dancing and parading through the streets,” he said.
The China Cultural Centre in Wellington made its debut in the festival with lion dances and traditional Chinese music.
Pokarekare Ana, a well-known Maori folk, was performed with traditional Chinese flute, while young Erhu artiste, Zoe Li, impressed Wellington people with a popular Chinese song, Myth.
“We wanted, through art, to open out the stories behind both Cuba Street and the diversity of our community in New Zealand, that’s a big part of the Cuba Street spirit,” said Cubadupa public art curator, Mark Amery.
“Cuba Street is home to a remarkable array of creative spaces and stories. When we appreciate each others’ backgrounds and our different histories, we build a far richer, more accepting contemporary culture. That’s part of Cubadupa’s special role,” said Amery.