Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Last Manunu Fia Fia


For the past two weeks we have been practicing for our going away fia fia, never quite realizing just what a night is was going to be. Our ladies had to learn a traditional Samoan dance to the song “Red Hibiscus”, our men a traditional Samoan slap dance, and together we rehearsed a short religious play spoken in Samoan. As you may see from the practice photos, we were not always in sync.

The actual fia fia is really a huge event done outside in front of the church. It seemed that everyone in the village either sang or danced. It lasted for over two hours. The dancing and singing were truly amazing. The men’s performances exuding strength and virility, the younger women beauty and grace, and the married women sang traditional songs. Each group would pull some of us out of the audience to join them. The men tended to favor our younger female volunteers while the married women grabbed our males. The unmarried woman Samoan girls just remained lovely and elusive. I was pulled out and suddenly this woman jumped up on me, knocking off my glasses. It was that kind of night. A night when traditions ruled and inhibitions tabled.

We in the Peace Corps seemed to thrill the crowd. Each villager bragged about the performance given by their “Pisikoa”. Unfortunately, the lighting was terrible and the flash on my camera not strong enough to capture the event. Well maybe even if I could have taken pictures, it still would not have captured the night. As they say, you just had to be there.

Ladies Practicing "Red Hibiscus" Dance

Men Practicing Slap Dance

Ready to Perform

What Can I Say?

It's Showtime!

No comments: