News and Notable Events

Cultural Exchange between CSS and Sacred Heart College (Auckland)

On 25th April, CSS had the honour of hosting Sacred Heart College from Auckland, New Zealand. Over 80 visitors came to CSS to take part in a unique cultural exchange that included unforgettable cultural and artistic performances, and close interaction between students, parents and teachers from both schools.

Having just arrived in Hong Kong the day before after completing their weeks-long tour of Europe, the all-boy Sacred Heart College Kapa Haka group gave their only Hong Kong performance before their return home to New Zealand.  Although they have departed, they have left behind many smiles, happy memories, and a deep, respectful  impression of Maori and New Zealand culture and their people.

The first half of the cultural exchange took the form of artistic and cultural performances from both schools. One of our teachers, a New Zealander, welcomed the visitors into the hall with a traditional Maori greeting song called a karanga which was reciprocated by a representative from Sacred Heart College. The New Zealanders performed the Kapa Haka, or traditional Maori dance and song, in their customary costume which consists of the piupiu, short woven skirts made from flax, and a pendant made from pounamu (greenstone). The Kapa Haka performance was varied and comprised of waiata-ā-ringa (action songs), waiata tira (choral songs), haka (ceremonial challenge), tititoria (short throwing sticks), rakau (long sticks) and poi (long and short spinning balls on woven strings). It is fair to say that the passion, energy and intensity of the boys’ performance was truly astounding and awe-inspiring, and it amazed and thrilled the audience. Our students in return demonstrated the variety and depth of talent we have at CSS, with outstanding performances in dragon dance, Chinese instrument (guzheng), vocal ensemble and orchestra.

After the performances, our Form 2 students played host to small groups of visitors with each house teaching them basic dragon dance moves, sharing a selection of quintessential Hong Kong snacks and chatting about Hong Kong culture and language. Our students got to learn some Kapa Haka movements, gestures and chants. By the end, some students were already exchanging social media details! The CSS PTA mingled with the SHC parents and teachers, and both parties shared and taught each other important and interesting aspects of their respective cultures. 

The cultural exchange between the two schools was a truly memorable and treasured experience, and a wonderful time was had by all. All those involved were left with profound respect for each other’s cultures and traditions, and the day will live long in the memory.