Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pohnpei Cultural Day/ My Birthday

Today I was greeted with warm cinnamon rolls brought by one of the girl's apartments across the way and a youtube clip of the chipmunks singing "Happy Birthday" to me which was chosen by my roommate. "Since I can't sing..." was what Karsten said with a smile. I was impressed.

Then a group of us went to the local festival to watch some traditional dancing from the surrounding islands (or at least the islands that are represented by the people who live here).  There were groups for Kosrae, Sapwuafik, Yap, Chuuk, and others representing the municipalities of Pohnpei. It was raining all day today, which caused some changes to be made in the initial outdoor setup for the event, but it was a lot of fun! It was great to see how instantaneous the effects that music and dance have on a group of people. Especially if it is one representing their culture. Each dance had it's own way of making the audience yell and laugh in excitement. The festival was created in order to stifle the overwhelming effects of the continual Westernization of the island. Things like clothing, food, construction, government, and how the Pohnpeian language is used are a few examples that have seen changes. You can hear it in many passing local conversations where english words are used in the middle of Pohnpeian sentences where there is no word for the translation. So Pohnpei Cultural Day was created to keep local traditions alive. A little tid-bit.

My Island Mom ("Nohno") Eileen Wolphagen

Kolonia (Pohnlik)

ECE Kolonia School showing the making of Sakau

Nukuoro Island

Laura Maas and her basket of food



Kapingamarangi (village is known for wood carvings)