This was the second year that The Nashi Festival took place at The Arty House on Wairoa Road. Organized by the initiative of Janice Higgison and Tessa Mackenzie, and a team of volunteers, A family camping festival, with a whole variety of workshops, performances and stalls…
“The Nashi Festival has strong kaupapa of sharing abundance, gifts and knowledge. We have a large focus on caring for the earth, what we leave for future generation and instead of taxing the planet working towards bringing it into harmony” says Janice Higgison.
And you could feel that, with everything from the stalls, to the people to the beautiful natural environment…
It all started with The Nashi orchard, which has over 60 nashi trees all over 30 years old, so they’re getting tired, and we want to work together to create a multilevel permaculture and plant even more variety of trees. So that the nashi festival will have an abundance of fruit to share in the future” Adds Janice
In addition to the stalls and workshops, there were also a whole slew of performances, from Maori storytelling, to plays, and dance and song performances…taking place on a couple of stages…one of them, called the Tentacle was am upcycled shipping container, which they turned into a stage, with a large tent, to create the lounge area:
The performances that I was there for, included Maori Story Telling from Matthiu, who narrated the tales of Maui to an attentive crowd. Filled with lessons and morals and uplifting messages to educate the crowd on the relationship between humans and nature and also had some audience participation to illustrate the story of ‘How Maui found the fire’.
Followed by a one woman performance of “Goldielocks” by Gisela De Hollanda, which spinned the tale a tiny bit to give an environmental message, and was popular with the kids that were present, and a few were even keen to get on the stage.
There were performances going on throughout the day, as well as workshops, around the beautiful farm. The last performance I was there for was from Indian Classical Dancer Rupal Mehta, who performed two pieces, one about the devotion of Lord Krishna, and the other about the spreading of colour.
The festival was a two day event, starting Saturday afternoon and ending on Sunday afternoon. I was unfortunately only able to stay a part of the day on Saturday, but the vibe and the sense of community was so strong that I definitely will be heading there next year, with a tent.
When asked about how she sees the Nashi Festival fitting into the local community here in the Bay, Tessa Mackenzie said:
“It’s all about networking and collaborating, and helping each other, we collaborate with The Incubator, MauaoPAC and Sundaise, and see what we got going on, and how we can help promote each other, so it’s not competitive and promotes that sense abundance and collaboration and equal exchange. Which is the essence of The Nashi Festival.
BY DHAIVAT MEHTA,
EDITOR, ARTbop alternative