Monday, March 16, 2009

Pasifika: A celebration of the Islands of the Pacific Ocean.

My International srudents from Chile, Peru, Korea, Italy, France, Spain, Iceland and so on asked me what Pasifika stood for. I explained that it was a celebration of the Pacific Island nations representing Niue, Tahiti, Tokelau, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Fiji and tangata whenua (Maori, New Zealand)

A sacred bird is behind this year's Pasifika Festival, bringing together the many cultures of the Pacific.
The kota - Niuean for frigate bird - is the theme for the 2009 festival, acknowledging the cultural significance and importance of one of the Pacific's best-known navigational birds.
The Kota Pasifika rock sculpture - being created by carvers from Fiji, Niue and the Cook Islands - pays tribute to the bird and its significance in a number of Pacific cultures.
Featuring in folktales and stylistic tattoos, the frigate bird symbolises freedom and power - soaring over seas - and is a vital navigational tool for those at sea.
Pasifika Festival director Ole Maiava says this year's theme is a tribute to the bird that many have come to love - and respectfully fear - within the Pacific.
"It means many things to different islands. It's known as a long-distance traveller who helps with navigation - to see how far from land you are," Mr Maiava said.
"In other islands, like Samoa, it's an omen. When you see an atafa [frigate bird] you know a storm is coming."

New Zealand Herald.

As I was busy with the Zero Waste program, I didn't have much time to watch the different dances. The photos were taken at the Fiji and Niue Village.


Glennis said...

You have a great collection of International students, in your college class I guess. Must make an interesting class full to teach.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

Hi Glennis,

Yes, they are. They teach me many things too, Now I know that Hangis are in Peru, Chile and Brazil. I was very surprised including my Maori friends. In Chile, they even marinate the meat in wine. Yummy!!!!