Press Release: Polynesian Teens Celebrate Samoan Cultural Pride at PCC
– High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival Showcases Hundreds of Students –
Laie, Hawaii – May 10, 2014 – Today was an opportunity for Hawaii’s Polynesian students to demonstrate their knowledge, skill and pride in the Samoan culture and they came through as champions at the High School Samoan Cultural Arts Festival.
Hosted by the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) as part of the We Are Samoa Festival, the event brought together hundreds of teens from six Hawaii high school clubs to perpetuate the Samoan culture and promote goodwill among their peers.
Taking part were students representing Farrington High School, Kahuku High School and Intermediate, Kapolei High School, Leilehua High School, Radford High School, and the ILH Polynesian Club, which comprises several Oahu private schools. Attending were hundreds of family members, friends and supporters. In addition, people around the world followed the Festival live online.
Held in the PCC’s 2,700-seat Pacific Theater, the students took part in a series of Samoan practices and life skills beginning with traditional oratory in the native Samoan tongue, which is rarely used by young people. The students then engaged in a series of traditional Samoan activities, including coconut husking, basket weaving, banana peeling, and fire making.
The Festival concluded with each school club performing Samoan songs and dances and showcasing their understanding of the traditional attire, poise, movements, and cultural interpretation involved in the presentation.
The students practiced for months after school and on weekends to prepare for today’s Festival, helping to ingrain in them a stronger understanding about the roots of the Samoan people. Cultural experts observing the Festival provided the students with feedback and encouragement to help inspire them to continue practicing and perpetuating the Samoan culture.
The We Are Samoa Festival, May 7-10, is Hawaii’s largest Samoan cultural festival and a pre-eminent showcase of Samoa’s traditions. A featured attraction of the festival is the exhilarating World Fireknife Championships.
About the Polynesian Cultural Center
Located on Oahu’s beautiful North Shore, the Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) is the only cultural tourist attraction of its kind in the world and a favorite of all visitors to Hawaii. An engaging, interactive celebration showcasing the people, culture, arts and crafts of Polynesia, the PCC has entertained more than 37 million visitors from around the world in its first 50 years (1963-2013). A non-profit organization, 100 percent of PCC’s revenue goes to daily operations and to support the education of its student-employees from neighboring Brigham Young University-Hawaii.