What an adventure the last month has been, culturally speaking, of course. This past Friday, February 10, was Samoan Day at Leone High School. Prior to this day, the students and devoted Samoan staff members have been avidly preparing for the big day. Three weeks ago, an hour per day was set aside for the students to learn their traditional siva. Siva is the Samoan word for dance. Two weeks ago, anywhere from two + hours was set aside to continue learning, practicing, and preparing for their presentation. As enjoyable as all of this was, our class schedule and lessons were a little bouncy. As a junior class advisor, I sat in on at least 25 hours of Samoan Day practice. That is a whole lot of siva-ing. Overall, I loved watching them dance, and hearing them sing can literally bring you to tears sometimes. They were troopers throughout the entire past month and I am so proud of them for sticking with it and for working together as a team (something that can be difficult for them sometimes.) Enjoy the pictures (if only I could upload videos....sad.)
The girls, in the early stage of learning their siva.
As you can see, we practiced in the cafeteria.
Sitting indian style is a traditional part of their culture. They are used to it. I bet if we threw a room full of American boys in here, they wouldn't be happy.
It is amazing to me how every single girl looks completely natural when dancing. They are so graceful and each and every one of them was absolutely beautiful to watch.
Putting everybody together and practicing the entire presentation.
On the morning of Samoan Day, my classroom turned into a Sharpie tattoo parlor. These were a few of the finished products.
Amber and Abby are sophomore class advisors, so this is the fabric the sophomores used. My fabric is what the junior class wore. The advisors matched their respective classes. At this point, my uniform is not complete.
Beautiful students and myself
Handsome, baby oiled, leafed-up, juniors
Waiting to parade into the gym
Junior girls - upper left, Senior girls - right side, Junior boys - lower left
My uniform is now complete. I've got the feathers in my hair, and the lipstick swoosh on my face (still not sure what it means - I was just told that it's a "cultural tradition." ok!)
The freshmen - I loved their fabric!
The sophomores had an amazing opening to their performance - complete with fire!
Junior girls - aren't they beautiful? It was such a breath of fresh air to see them in other puletasi's besides their boring school uniform.
The junior Mr. and Miss.
The senior Miss and Mr. - I loved her dress!
Senior girls - their puletasi's were also very bright and islandy.
Myself (in my front yard) after the performance. I may look a little Samoan but I am still a very white palagi.
All in all, the day was amazing. Seniors won the overall competition, but each class had an incredible performance and all their hard work paid off. They seemed to enjoy the day as well, so everyone left on a happy note.