CPIT celebrates diversity

CPIT celebrates diversity

Brazilian Jason “Pontual” Soldan is just one performer looking forward to travelling the world at lunchtime with Polyculture at CPIT next week.

The annual event brings live music, dance, performance and delicious food to both CPIT campuses from 3 to 6 September. Polyculture celebrates global culture and multicultural diversity at CPIT.

International director Beth Knowles estimates there are 60 nationalities represented on campus. “My list goes from Austria to Zimbabwe – it’s that broad,” she said.

“During Polyculture you have international students and tutors sharing and celebrating their culture, and then you have people who have adopted other cultural practices - bellydancers from Japan, Taiko drummers from New Zealand and so on. There are many opportunities for our students and staff to not only watch some performances and taste some food but then get involved if something appeals to them.” 


Highlights include Japanese Taiko drumming, Middle Eastern bellydancing, kimono dressing and a capoeira performance by Pontual and students from his class at CPIT.

“Capoeira is the second popular sport in Brazil after soccer,” Pontual said. “It involves movement, acrobatics, live music, fitness... And it’s good opportunity to practice Portuguese language.

“You work every part of your body and it’s a great way of relaxing your mind too.”

Like many cultural practices, capoeira has interesting history. “Capoeira was created in Africa and came to Brazil with African slaves. So it is an Afro-Brazilian martial art.”

Pontual teaches beginners to advanced levels and has also taught at Rolleston Prison and the Body Festival.  His capoeira group will perform at the European/Americas day on 4 September.

Polyculture opens with Maori/Pasifika Day at the CPSA, Madras St campus and Asian Day at Trades Innovation Institute (TII) on Monday 3 September. The CPSA building hosts Middle Eastern/African Day on Tuesday 4 September, European/Americas Day on Wednesday 5 September and the Maori/Pasifika closing ceremony on 6 September. TII also hosts Asian Day on Wednesday 5 September.