Polyfest weekend celebrates pacific culture. Schools all over Auckland battle it out performing traditional cultural dances with the awards only going to the best. This post is acknowledging Lina Lee of Epsom Girls who is a Korean Exchange student and came first for Fuataimi.
Below is a letter from her Samoan Tutors.
This is Lina Lee.
She is a KOREAN exchange student and this is her 4th year living in New Zealand. She’s been in our Epsom Samoan group for 3 years now, last year she served as fa’aluma and this year she trialed for fuataimi.
We ended up choosing her based on her performance and her attitude. For three weeks she practiced hard making sure that she got every little detail right. She learnt how to control the group, she learnt how to introduce the group in Samoan, she learnt how to cue and start songs, she learnt actions, and she learnt the meaning behind the role of fuataimi. She even memorised the whole PESE and what the words mean. (Some island kids struggle to do this).
One thing we did not teach her during the preparation season of Polyfest was ‘HEART’. No no no, she brought that herself, she came with a 100% positive attitude and a hunger to learn and she showed us that she had the heart to do this role justice.
Her stage presence just blew us all away, and she made history by being the first ever KOREAN fuataimi to place 1ST EQUAL on the Samoan stage at POLYFEST 2014… not only was she the first korean fuataimi, but she was the first fuataimi from epsom girls to win 1st place.
On behalf of myself and Jewlz & Joyce . We want to say thank you Lina for making us the proudest tutors ever. You’re dedication and commitment to the role of fuataimi was so inspiring and you have done us proud.
Thank the Lord for placing you in the Samoan group and thank you for honoring and respecting our Pacific culture. If you can do it, then there’s absolutely no reason why us NZ born islanders can’t do it too. Plenty of NZ born islanders struggle with cultural identity, but this girl has proved that anything is possible if you have the heart to learn and the passion for culture.