Pasifika

  • polynesians: have oral history that references a faraway land of andes-like mountains in the east, cultivated sweet potato (a plant native to central america, not the pacific), literally call sweet potato by the same word used by the quechua and aymara people indigenous to the andes, left physical remains on islands a few km off the coast of chile, have genetic links with native south americans
  • white academics: hmmm it's very doubtful polynesians contacted south america.. they probably just stopped permanently at easter island for some reason after systematically navigating the entire south pacific. the sweet potatos floated to them across the ocean
Pasifika culture meets pop culture.

I hate making posts like this one. I feel mean and like I’m being overly aggressive. Denying other people a good time.

But I really feel like I have to say something in this case. So lets talk about the hongi/honi, and fandom culture (particularly shipping culture).

(Image description: Pictured above is a still from James Cameron’s Avatar where two aliens are leaning in to press their noses and foreheads together. Bellow it is a photo of a Maori person and a white person engaging in a Hongi with their foreheads and noses pressed together.)

Said Hongi in New Zealand, and Honi in Hawai’i, the custom of pressing ones forehead and nose to that of another person is a traditional greeting.

It’s used widely in New Zealand in all situations. From formal events at parliament, graduation, a gathering at a marae (meetinghouse). To casual situations like visiting ones uncles, aunties, and couzies. Or welcoming an interviewee on a midday TV show.

A Hongi represents equality, trust, the sharing of ha (breath of life), the sharing of communal responsibilities and duties, belonging, respect, and conveys a welcoming spirit.

It’s considered to be somewhat like a handshake, and often accompanies a handshake.
The one thing it doesn’t imply? Romance between the participants.

Except with the greater visibility of Pasifika culture late last year and early this year (2016-2017), fandoms have been picking up on the Hongi. But the problem is I’m only seeing it depicted in ship art.

This is harmful. It’s appropriating, and divorcing it from it’s true cultural function. And it’s creating some awkward associations for people trying to participate naturally in their cultural customs.
Yes a fan artist might think “It’s just one picture.” But their one picture is one of many that are having the effect of misrepresenting and fetashizing the Hongi for use as ship fuel.

And in fact, this colonization has been in effect longer than one might think. Consider that the Honi is often translated or explained as “The Hawaiian kiss.”

So this is just a request to fan artist, to be careful, and to practice cultural sensitivity.

(Ok to reblog.)

new rule: youre not allowed to call yourself a fan of moana unless you actually take the time to learn about pacific islander cultures, the continued colonization of our islands, and the exploitations of our resources both human and natural

shout out to sapphic girls who are melanesian, micronesian, and polynesian. Shout out to wlw whos countries have been ignored and even erased from maps in their classrooms. Shout out to those sapphic islanders whos family were forced to assimilate so theyre disconnected from their culture. I love you so much and i feel your pain. Youre so wonderful and you have the strength of the ocean inside you!!

i’m gonna need non-pasifika people to shut the FUCK up about pasifika people’s customs (particularly our dances) being viewed more favorably in the eyes of white people because: a.) that isn’t favor; that’s fetishization and exotification, b.) fun fact: when white people invaded our lands, they BANNED our traditions INCLUDING the customs you think are favorably seen today, and c.) the only reason why white people like these customs now is because they use it to exploit us and make money so miss me with that shit.

What’s difficult about being from Hawaii is that everyone has a postcard view of your home. Hawaii lives vividly in people’s minds as nothing more than a weeklong vacation – a space of escape, fantasy and paradise. But Hawaii is much more than a tropical destination or a pretty movie backdrop — just as Aloha is way more than a greeting.

The ongoing appropriation and commercialization of all things Hawaiian only makes it clearer as to why it is inappropriate for those with no ties to Hawaii, its language, culture and people to invoke the Hawaiian language. This is uniquely true for aloha – a term that has been bastardized and diminished with its continual use.

Most who invoke the term aloha do not know its true meaning. Aloha actually comes from two Hawaiian words: Alo – which means the front of a person, the part of our bodies that we share and take in people. And Ha, which is our breath. When we are in each other’s presence with the front of our bodies, we are exchanging the breath of life. That’s Aloha.

—  Janet Mock
2

“Characters in Moana don’t accurately resemble Polynesian people”
Honestly, I would say that if everyone were skinny and light-skinned (like the rest of Disney). But that’s not the case. Im sure there’d be just as much outrage if he were skinny with a six pack. You can’t please everyone 🤔

[Bryan Kamaoli Kuwada] argues that ‘any time Hawaiians—or any other native people, for that matter—come out in force to push for more respect for our culture and language or to protect our places from this kind of destruction, we are dismissed as relics of the past, unable to hack it in the modern world with our antiquated traditions and practices.
—  David Malie, Science, Time, and Mauna a Wākea: The Thirty-Meter Telescope’s Capitalist-Colonialist Violence, Part II
IMPORTANT

Friendly reminder: Filipinos (& other South East Asians) are NOT Pacific Islanders

Why? It’s fairly simple.The Pacific Islands is a broad geographical area made up of three regions. The largest, Polynesia, then Melanesia and Micronesia to the north. The Philippines/Indonesia etc are NOT APART OF ANY OF THESE REGIONS.

The Pacific Islands are apart of Oceania and consist of:

Aotearoa(New Zealand), Hawai'i, Fiji, Rotuma, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Guam, Palau, Nauru, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Yap, Samoa, Tahiti, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, American Samoa, Kiribati, West Guinea, Niue, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Solomon Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Caroline Islands and Vanuatu.

Note how the Philippines aren’t mentioned anywhere in this list. Furthermore, the region(or continent if you will) of Oceania includes Australia and the Australian Aboriginals, whom are related to the other Oceanians

The Philippines are geographically located in Asia (specifically South East Asia) , and the people are primarily Asian(of course, some mixed with European heritage due to colonisation and such ). It’s pretty much known worldwide that the Philippines are an Asian country but there’s always that select few who are ignorant to this. The Pacific Islands aren’t any of these, and the people are different as well, but I won’t delve into that today

I’ve seen a few too many Filipinos ‘claim’ to be Pacific Islanders, despite the fact that they simply aren’t. Many try to back up themselves with ‘its just my opinion’ and such. The thing is, you simply can’t just have an opinion on who you are in this aspect. It’s like a white person from Europe suddenly saying they’re purely of African descent, when they’re aren’t. They’re two different groups.

Unless you’re mixed with any native Islander blood from any of the islands mentioned in the above list, DO NOT ‘CLAIM’ TO BE A PACIFIC ISLANDER. An example of someone who is mixed Asian/Pacific Islander is Nicole Scherzinger, who is of Filipino(Asian), Native Hawai'ian(Polynesian Pacific Islander) (and also Ukrainian (European) descent). She is a Pacific Islander, because she has actual Pacific Islander blood

As a Pacific Islander myself, it is incredibly frustrating to see non Pasifika claiming to be one of us, when they simply are not. By doing so, you’re only erasing actual Pacific Islanders identities whether you realise it or not, and furthermore, disregarding your own Asian identity, you’re also just being factually ignorant. Asia in itself, is already a huge area, with tons of different people, cultures and traditions. Please, please, PLEASE don’t be that one person who erases the cultural identities of minorities.

I’m not trying to attack anyone here, particularly Filipinos who think they’re Pacific Islanders (and other people in general who claim to be something they’re not). But please, stop claiming to be something you’re not, and trying to cover it up with lame excuses. Please don’t be ignorant

Be proud of who you are, don’t be ignorant and claim a title that doesn’t belong to you. Embrace your heritage, be proud of you

Thank you for reading

Edit

So apparently thanks to some mere Census in America they consider Filipinos Pacific Islanders now. I’m just- way to defy common sense and facts guys. A census? Really? I didn’t know you could magically become another ethnicity (Pacific Islander is a general ethnicity term) by considering yourself something else. Smh, Filipinos are not Pasifika, they’re Asian. Pasifika aren’t Asian, they’re Pasifika and Oceaniac. Two different groups from different continents. Is that so hard to understand?