One of the images in the photographic exhibition "Belonging [Hononga] [Pertencimento]".
"I'm Olivia En, a Vietnamese-Cambodian Kiwi. My family and I came to Aotearoa-New Zealand as refugees when I was three. I feel proud and blessed to call this country my home and that I've had the good fortune to be able to bring up my four children in this little corner of the world."
The exhibition reflects on the personal experience of the photographer, Aline Frey, as a migrant woman who chose Palmerston North as a new home for her family and herself.
"Belonging" is a series of 10 portraits celebrating migrant women who made Palmy their new home. By allowing characters to share their narratives as they open their hearts to spectators, the exhibition focuses on a multiplicity of ethnicities and biographies. It follows migrant stories while giving a nuanced portrayal of the city's ethnic and cultural diversity. Above all, the exhibition aims to give visibility to migrants' diverse roles in PN society, as attendees can learn and better understand the challenges and achievements of each person's journey. Attendees are also invited to reflect back on their own whakapapa and family memories while making connections and recognising the city’s multicultural formation.
The exhibition was organised by Palmeirinhos – Brazilian Heritage Group. All events organised by Palmeirinhos are open to the general public and have been attended by many members of different communities, as well as local kiwis. These Palmeirinhos events have been giving Brazilian children a sense of belonging to the new land that their parents chose to call home. Those children are learning to be proud of who they are and at the same time learning to respect and accept the cultural differences of this very diverse city.