The crowd roared with laughter as AK took to the centre stage. She lifted her arm up into the superman pose and ran around in a giant circle, then she flopped on the floor spun around, jumped up and the crowd roared some more, coaxing her on for another lap. She wore the traditional headdress and flower necklace. The aching body I had from sitting crossed legged for the past 5hours no longer exsisted, The tears from laughter streamed down my face, my smile just as big as the rest of the crowds.
Beany was waiting in the wings wearing a grass skirt, headdress and flower necklace, she was putting the finishing moves on her traditional dance. AK left the stage and on came Beany with the rest of a Village, ready to do there competition dance. Beany took the centre front, amongst the village kids, all with beaming smiles, none however as big as Beany’s. The village tribe all behind and ready. The singing started and away went Beany with the rest of the kids dancing the traditional dance. She smacked and shook her little bum and the crowd went up in fits of laughter once more, then the kids all marched forward Beany leading the way the crowd cheering and screaming, then they shuffled back and started again.
The 8 kids lined up, the singing started they shook their bums and shimmied forwards while the rest of the village sang so proudly behind them. The singing was almost drowned out by the booming laughter. The locals thought Beany dressed up and taking part in traditional dance was absolutely fantastic. We were so lucky to stumble across such a wonderful cultural event. We went ashore for a look and were quickly whisked away into a maneapa. Here some locals organized a woven mat for us to sit on and the Cultural dance competition started. With in minutes of arriving and being specially welcomed we were moved to the centre front, right next to the very important bishop. From our prime seat we watched singing and dancing all done by 13 different villages. It was a traditional dance off with judges and prizes. The traditional out fits were brightly coloured and all hand crafted. As the singing and dancing went on we were fed an array of foods from Oreos to boiled clam ! The singing was truly amazing their voices so powerful and so beautiful. The show continued for 5hours.
Sitting crossed legged for that amount of time takes intense endurance strength. The burn in my hip bones and ankle joints screaming out for mercy, the woven mat weaving itself inside my skin. The boiled water we were given was cooked over the fire and had a very distinct smokey flavour, We were lucky enough to taste the smoke infused water and drink litres of it. I am not sure Smoke infused will ever make it onto the shelf at a supermarket. Even with my screaming body and smoke filled water, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. This experience was truly amazing and for them to allow Beany to take part and for AK to have a turn was absolutely brilliant. After the winners were announced we were thanked for taking part and being able to witness such a special ceremony, Slade then stood up and thanked the Villages for welcoming us and for being so accommodating. Finally we stood up ever so slowly allowing the woven mats to painfully detach themselves from us, and letting our joints to free themselves. We thanked everybody we walked passed and said our goodbyes.
This was one of those memorable moments, one of those times that I truly laughed my heart out I could literally feel my Heart beaming with smiles. This was a one off, life experience, one that very few people will ever witness and it sure does beat any Boxing day sale. The local got just as much enjoyment and smiles out of us as we did out of them. I think that AK and Beany, taking part was the highlight of there ceremony and the two girls certainly came pretty close to raisining the roof with the applause they received. Truly spectacular. A change of note from our recent bad fortune a truly feel good moment over christmas