Sunday, June 04, 2006

Independence Day - Traditional dance

After the fautasi race, the focus of the day's celebrations turned to the parliament house. The afternoon saw a marching girls' competition followed by a number of traditional performances by a number of colleges around the country. To my eye the marching girls' competition seemed out of place, being so strongly modelled on the kind of thing one sees in the United States. That said, each team's performance was well received by the crowd and some of the performances were impressive indeed.

I was more interested in the traditional performances that followed. They featured huge groups of perfomers. I went for a wander around the park where the performances were being held to the area where the various groups were preparing themselves. There I stumbled right into the middle of the CCCS Tuasivi College (from Savaii) wearing their matching pink puletasis and lavalavas. They looked fantastic as you can see here.

The group that most impressed me was that from Don Bosco. They performed a variety of pieces that were really impressive. In particular, their performances of the Maori haka and the Samoan haka were awesome. The sound of more than a hundred young men chanting and slapping their thighs was astounding. The kind of thing that gives you goosebumps. Great stuff.

The Don Bosco performance was also pretty light hearted in parts too. In the middle of one piece that featured singing, body slapping and clapping they segued into a brief rendition of Queen's "We Will Rock You". They were, without a doubt, the most impressive group I saw perform that day.

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