Eleanor and Ethno Solomons thrive in NZ Experience
By Alex Dadamu
Ethno Solomon Islands recently participated in the Ethno New Zealand camp and performed at the Auckland Folk Festival, thanks to the support of Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI).
Eleanor Nuia, a young Contemporary Music Artist, was part of the unforgettable Ethno Camp experience in Auckland. She expressed her gratitude to sponsors and organizers for making this cultural exchange possible.
“I’m amazed at everything, starting from when we arrived in Piritahi, where we stayed. I was surprised by the different cultures and how they welcomed us to the house.
“I would like to thank Ethno New Zealand for the hospitality and Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI) for the grant assistance that enabled us to participate in the Auckland Folk Festival.
“We stayed together like one family and did everything together—eat, play music, vibe together—everything is nice. I feel at home when I’m there, and I really don’t have to worry about anything,” Eleanor said.
She added that from attending the camp, she wants to help contribute more to Ethno Solomons because she saw it as not too organized as the one she attended in New Zealand.
“Also, we don’t have enough funding to organize activities. I would like to contribute and seek funds to help the organization reach that level,” she pointed out.
Meanwhile, Coordinator and mentor of Ethno Solomon Islands, Willie Tekatoha, stressed that there are many benefits from participating in the camp and festival.
“It benefitted local artists who have minimal support to push their talents and showcase their talents… it’s their opportunity to showcase their talents on the international stage,” Mr. Tekatoha said.
He pointed out the need to involve and encourage young people to appreciate their cultures.
“Often, the genre is not appealing to young people because they see singing traditional songs or chants as a genre reserved for older people.
“It is important that they learn the songs and pass them on to the next generation.
“The traditional music genre has a good market overseas also. Why not start them and build them up to become top musicians in their own rights so they can take their songs, culture, arts, and talents and showcase them on the international stage and become full-time musicians.
Ethno New Zealand is a dynamic program, part of the international network Ethno World, designed to unite young adult traditional, world, and folk musicians from Aotearoa and around the globe.
Ethno New Zealand 2024 was the 6th edition held on Piritahi Marae on Waiheke Island in Aotearoa, New Zealand.