One of the perks of living in the village is the chance to see “authentic” singing and dancing. Sure, you can see a cool culture show at a resort but I prefer it local.
As I was typing the last post I was listening to the traditional drums. I know from having watched it that the youth group was doing a “sasa” dance to the beat of the drums. It is dancers sitting in rows, cross-legged, playing a very advanced form of group patty cake to the beat of the drums. It’s fun to watch and requires rhythm and a great memory. The dance is over five minutes long of intricate slapping and hand motions.
I’m currently listening to a “hymn” and watching the kids dance. I put hymn in quotes because I don’t know of any church in the States that has hymns this up tempo. If they did, attendance might improve. The Samoan hymns make Reggae sound a bit dirge-like. Every once in awhile the emcee (also known as the pastor) yells “Siva!” which means “Dance!”
All the youth break from the choreographed dance to go free form. Last night I was watching rehearsal from the small bus fale at the school. A bunch of kids had joined me and when the pastor yelled “Siva”, the youngest ones went crazy, dancing themselves silly. Since I’m so darned young at heart, I busted out a few moves of my own. That made the dancers stare in amazement and the older kids laugh like hyenas.
The big church event for which they’ve been practicing for months starts in a couple of weeks. The same time I’ll be leaving for New Zealand. I’ll miss the evening musical entertainment.