By Franciny Gonzalez |Staff writer|
The “Polynesian Culture” event held by the Osher Adult Re-Entry Center (OARC), taught various cultural dances and provided knowledge about Polynesian history.
Desihre Manuel, a Hula and Tahitian dance instructor demonstrated and taught the history behind each move.
“I think the significance I find in teaching dance is awareness of our culture,” said Manuel.
She explained how people may perceive a dance as easy, but in reality it not only takes a lot of passion but also strength since these Polynesian dances consist of long-lasting leg work.
Sefo Tomu hosted Polynesian Culture, as a Tongan he has awaited for this event to come so that he could share his traditions with fellow students.
“There is not a lot of us [Polynesians] here at the school, theirs actually less than 1 percent of us, so not a lot of students know about our culture. This will be cool for them to know about our culture,” said Sefo Tomu, host of the event.
One of the dances, called “KA MATE,” is where they showed their most frightening face.
According to their beliefs, expressing a horrifying face would scare and intimidate the opponent they were about to go to war with.
“I find that Polynesian culture is very rich and diverse, and it’s something that you don’t really see,” said student Christian Romero.
Romero mentioned how he had wanted to learn the “KA MATE” for a couple of years now.
Since high school, Romero found it interesting that many sport teams would perform this dance before a game, he enjoyed how it would energize the crowd and get the team pumped.
Although it is possible for students to create their own club on campus, it can be difficult.
It takes a lot of courage to start something on your own, let alone if no one is there to help you along the way.
“I was a board member and part of Filipino organization. I tried to start a Polynesian club like this, but it’s not no easy cake walk. It’s really hard to start a club. I’m glad Sefo took the initiative to start a Polynesian club,” said Romeo Helms, student and performer.
Helms is content with the movement that is being started, he hopes that students will feel more comfortable and willing to join a club.
Students felt that having this event was important to our CSUSB community, especially considering how many diverse ethnicities that exist on campus.
Those who were from the Polynesian culture described the feeling of being more comfortable since they learned about their roots and connected with one another.
“The Polynesian culture is interesting, we are Malaysian and it’s a little different. But I think it’s important to host events like these to show the different cultures,” said student Layla Kapule.