Thursday, December 05, 2013

Inexplicable culture

When we celebrate culture - we do so in two ways:  in an expression of pride., deep in our beings/mauli.
The inexplicable emotion that uplifts and exudes good feelings about our affiliation with a place, a history, a people.
We feel it, we emote it, we become it. 
No one can stop me for this sense of being, or pride.

Then, there is the outward celebration, through a lived culture, in what we wear, say, sing, eat, and do.
I wear a fine mat to dance, I eat taro because we associate this with our culture (and because I'm hungry). I sing songs that we learnt as     children. You give money to a loved one because its our way of
express our alofa, love.

Then, change inevitably happens - and we grow up, we marry non-Samoans, non-"our-own-culture", we move abroad, we move into palagi houses and eat steak for dinner (ailoga), we speak another language, we immerse ourselves in a world of difference, a world of many-a-cultures.
Suddenly, our culture evolves, changes, adapts, interpreted, manipulated, effected.

No one, and I reiterate, no one, has the right to tell me, and you that your culture belongs to them, or you.
No one. 
I give you every permission (as your annonymous Goddess) to celebrate culture in your own way, in your own emotion, so long as it does not bring pain and suffering upon another.

My culture today is the way it is because it has been moulded, mashed and used (and abused) by the people that live it.

If you were born outside of your motherland and you are uncertain about your understanding of culture.

Stuff it. You belong. You are Samoan. Tongan. Fijian. Cook islander. French. Japanese. etc. 

You have every right to celebrate your culture, irrespective of what you know about the culture that is practiced at home.

If you want to know your culture, by all means, do so - go to your motherland and immerse yourself in your motherland's lived culture.

But let me leave you with this: 
More important and more empowering than lived culture is that inexplicable emotion, feeling, sense of belonging that is deep within your being.  

"Our culture is unique. Just like every other culture. Word." (Jackson-Becerra)

And in true Goddess fashion, the photos have no direct relation to the above:

No comments: