How to make a polynesians culture without feeling like you’re losing your soul
Posted October 19, 2018 07:50:17Polynesian cultural and religious traditions are a key part of the culture and heritage of the Pacific Island nations, and the island nation of Tuvalu is not immune to the threat posed by a growing number of Pacific Island countries.
In the latest issue of The Atlantic Monthly, journalist and writer Kate Millett examines how indigenous Pacific Island cultures have been able to preserve and protect their cultural and spiritual heritage for generations.
“In the 21st century, indigenous Polynesians and Pacific Islanders are finding themselves facing an unprecedented challenge in their ability to preserve their cultural heritage in the face of a globalised, multi-national, and globalised Pacific island nation that is increasingly competing for global resources,” Millett writes.
“The stakes are high for these Pacific island communities and their leaders.
But there is also a need to re-examine our colonialist notions of culture, which have been the bedrock of our way of life for hundreds of years.”
According to Millett, the most prominent examples of indigenous Pacific Islanders being left behind in this globalisation are the Polynesian communities of the Philippines, Samoa and Tonga, which are now under threat from the construction of new communities on the islands.
The Philippines, with its rich Polynesinian heritage, has been the target of an ambitious plan to build a high-rise complex for luxury apartment buildings in the Philippines.
The Philippine government is attempting to relocate the communities that are still living on the island to new sites in Manila.
The proposed development, dubbed the “Pacific Tower,” will consist of several apartment towers with the highest-rise residential units on the Philippines’ southernmost island of Luzon.
“But, like most other islands of the South Pacific, Luzon’s island communities are also facing an increasingly globalised threat,” Millet writes.
The Manila project, which was approved by the Philippine government in 2016, is designed to build luxury apartment blocks in Manila, but it is believed that the construction could lead to the displacement of many of the islands’ traditional Polynesiastic and Polyneso-Caribbean cultures and languages.
The Pacific Tower will include an estimated 500,000 sq metres of apartment towers, but there is concern that the project could damage the environment and lead to displacement of indigenous Polynesia’s traditional language and culture.
In Fiji, there are concerns about a planned high-rises in Fijian cities to house luxury condo towers.
The development of the new development is set to open in 2019.
Fiji has had a Polynesic language for more than two centuries, but the islands are now facing a growing threat to their languages.
“Fiji is experiencing a seismic change in its cultural and language heritage,” Millette writes.
“For decades, the island’s Polyneses have maintained a strong presence in Fiji, but this will soon be threatened by a massive development that will bring an unprecedented amount of economic and social impact to the island.”
The new high-end apartments will be located in the north of Fiji, where indigenous Polydinos, called the Tuamotu, are also living, and where a number of indigenous languages, such as the Fiji, are spoken.
Tuamotus are known as a people who practise traditional fishing techniques, and they are also the most popular language in Fiji.
In 2017, Tuamots were among the first indigenous groups to be recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site in Fiji and were awarded UNESCO’s “World Heritage” status.
Tuams are also known for their strong Polynese culture and are considered to be among the most religious of the Polyneo-speaking nations.
In 2015, Tuams were granted the right to practise traditional medicine in Fiji under the Government of the Republic of Fiji (GFRF), but there are growing fears that the Government will continue to exclude Tuamutis from traditional medicine.
Tuamus are often referred to as the ‘Buddhist people’ in Fiji because they practise a traditional religious practice known as “the Buddhism of Tuamats.”
The traditional Tuamatu faith includes the practice of “living by the ways of the sea,” which includes a practice of washing with the water and eating raw fish, which is often accompanied by chanting, as well as praying to the sea god, Te Reo, in a series of songs.
“These traditions are important to the Tuamese people and the Tuamas, who make up one-fifth of the Tuamea people,” Milsey writes.
“[Tuamas] are an integral part of Fiji’s indigenous culture.
But Tuamatos, too, are facing a massive challenge in trying to preserve the traditional values of their culture and the language of their people.””
In order to ensure the Tuamus are able to speak their own languages, Tuamanese, and keep them alive, they must be able to communicate with other Tuames,” Miliffes writes.Tuamas