Hastings Boys’ High School has introduced the wearing of lavalava as part of the dress code for their Pacific Island students.
The traditional garment is part of the dress uniform for special occasions.
Principal Robert Sturch said the initiative had been requested by the Samoan leaders of the school.
“They found that there were five crucial ceremonies during the year which they would be able to present themselves in a culturally appropriate manner.”
The Pasifika leaders would be in the traditional clothing next Thursday for senior prizegiving, where they were being acknowledged for academic achievement and contribution to the school.
Mr Sturch said schools around the country were implementing the initiative.
“It is a formal expression of culture and also acknowledges their heritage. It shows that we value them and their culture.”
“It is significant in our society to respect their culture and heritage. It is their formal dress and an opportunity to show that they are a proud Samoan.”
Mr Sturch said he did not believe it would be incorporated into the daily school uniform.
The grey lavalava was slightly different to the traditional black one worn for everyday use and featured the school crest on the bottom.
“I think it is fantastic for the Pacific boys to be recognised and able to express significance of their culture and heritage.”
Source: Hawke’s Bay Today