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Aiga Festival: Pacific Island Festival promoting family and culture

Joseph Guenzler -

The Aiga Festival, hosted by Samoan musician and Co-Director Taitu'uga Kitch and Tongan content creator Havea676 in collaboration with Tatou Aiga, marks a significant milestone as the first-ever Pacific Island event at South Bank in Meanjin.

The free event is slated for the 2nd of March from 10 am to 3 pm at South Bank Piazza.

Co-Director Taitu'uga Kitch notes the impact of holding a cultural event such as Aiga Festival at South Bank.

"The heart of Brisbane's South Bank, Meanjin, holds significant cultural importance as a place of ancient ancestry for the Turrbal and Yuggaera peoples, fostering a rich tradition of cultural exchange," he said.

"It serves as a gathering point for Indigenous communities from the Pacific islands, where food, dance, and spirit converge, emphasising the vital role of preserving culture for future generations."

The program includes a smoking ceremony by Turrbal man Uncle Joe Kirk, with distinguished guests Mick Gooda and Murry Saylor in attendance.

Aiga (Meaning 'Family' in Samoan) Festival promises diverse performances representing many pacific nations such as Samoa, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Nuie and Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander cultures, along with food stalls and workshops.

Co-Director Josefo Nauer said "we want to bridge the gap between cultures in Australia."

"We started off doing festivals for the Samoans but now we have sponsorships from Southbank Corp and other organisations," he said.

"We are very grateful we can put this event on for the community."

Aiga Festival promotes cultural awareness and identity, speaking particularly to young people to help address gaps in cultural identity and positive pathways, steering away from youth crime.

Charlie Pualau the Samoan Superman at the Fan Day or Toa Samoa vs Tonga match. (Image: Supplied)

Tatou Aiga founder, Charlie Pualau - known as 'Samoan Superman' - stressed the importance of community events, drawing inspiration from global examples like the World Cup.

He also emphasised the goal of instilling cultural pride in the youth today.

"For myself, it's so important to hold an event like this for the community," he said.

"Looking at things like the world cup, you see people taking a lot of pride in their culture and we want to make sure we bring that to the kids especially.

"We are so grateful to be able to put this event on at the Piazza in South Bank and knew we couldn't do it without acknowledging our Indigneous brothers and sisters."

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