Our Language is Our Culture

For this years Polynesian Club Concert and Review, students shared with the audience their love for their homelands and culture, but also the importance of their languages.

Members of the Polynesian club not only got the share their languages with the audience members but with each other as well.

“Even though the majority of the club is Polynesian, not everyone in the club is Hawaiian and not everybody is Tongan and so on. The [students] took the time to learn their brothers and sisters languages. I feel like the dancers can dance, they have always been able to dance, but to be able to learn each other’s language is really something special,” said Anu Fuga Co-Advisor of the Poly Club.

The theme of language was a constant theme in the concert through the chants and music used during the performances showing how language is an essential part of each culture

There were six sections in the concert including Hawai’i, Tonga, Tahiti, Fiji and New Zealand. Each section had Kumu, or teacher, who was in charge of music, choreography and costumes for that section.

Tevita Loamanu, a business management major has been a part of the club for two years and served as a Co-Kumu or as an “assistant coach” in the Tahiti section.

[I hope the audience] understands the fun vibe that the Tahitians bring. Especially with the music-they will understand when it starts playing. Hopefully, they feel the beat of the music and the rhythm,” said Loamanu.

The showcase was truly a party for beginning to end. Audience members showed their appreciation for the performances by throwing money on the stage and “chee-hoo’s” were heard throughout the night.

Dante Togisala, a senior BIS major and Marley Fakahua, junior family life and human development are two of the dancers that have been a part of the showcase for more than six years. They both love how the showcase brings everyone together.

“All of us Polynesian kids come from different places but everyone comes together for the showcase. And we get to know each other whether we are from the island, Utah or California. We become really close and that’s why I love it,” said Fakahua.

The feeling of togetherness doesn’t just last during the showcase but is an essential part of the Polynesian club.

Aiose Talamoni, originally from American Samoa is the current Polynesian Club President.

“[The club] a home. Poly’s can come here and know they are welcome even though they are far away from home. We provide a home away from home,” said Talamoni.

This year the concert was dedicated to the late Tupouseini Lupe Hosea who passed away after graduating from SUU last summer.


Click here if you are interested in learning more about the Polynesian Club at SUU.


Story by: Cassidy Harmon
Photos by: Mitchell Quartz