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I am grateful for my traditional Polynesian upbringing

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Jadynne Tuileta

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The Polynesian culture is an interesting culture. They have many different languages and traditions. They are mostly located on islands such as Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, and other various islands.

Polynesia is very different from any other culture. They don’t do things like how most people are used to.  The islands are different from Utah, way different. Polynesian culture has a lot to do with traditions. They are all about tradition and culture and doing things a specific way.

In the Polynesian culture, you have to listen to your elders. It doesn’t matter who they are or how old they are you have to always treat them with respect. Because if you disrespect them you will be yelled at and have really harsh consequences. The adults take talking back very seriously and will not joke around when it comes to talking back to them.

The food that the Polynesian culture is mostly from the sea or grown from trees. Polynesians are really in love with fruits and seafood and meat. In Samoa, the kitchen belongs to the guys while the girls stay inside and weave toys and headbands for the house and the kids. The woman in Samoa is supposed to stay home and care for the elderly living in their house.

Polynesian people originate from the islands but some of them were born somewhere other than the islands. Even if somebody isn’t born on the islands they still have Polynesian blood running through their veins. We could be half this and half that but we’re still known as Polynesians. In the Polynesian culture, it doesn’t matter what culture you are you will always be family.

In Polynesia family is what matters the most. Family comes before anything and everything. You might think something is more important but to us Polynesians we can’t find something more important unless it’s a life or death situation. Within our Polynesian families, all of the family members have to keep the family name high and don’t do anything that could shame the family. Everything you do you do for your family.

The head of the family in our Polynesian culture just like any other culture is the father. The father will always be the lead or the head of the family and that will never change. For us Polynesian people traditions that were made long ago they stay the same no matter what. Not most Polynesian families keep those traditions when they get their own little family. But you can be sure that the elderly will keep those traditions without even asking questions.

In my own family, my parents won’t let anybody in our house do anything that’s bad. But like any other family barely any of us listen. If you disrespect your parents then it’s not gonna really go well for you. Polynesian parents are very strict when it comes to any of the kids in their family. My grandparents whenever they come down to Utah and stay with us I have to do all the chores for them. If I ever say no to them then I will get yelled at and not be able to go anywhere. They might be my grandparents but I will always have to respect them just like how I respect my parents. The family tradition that my family has is that we always have to have family prayer night but most of the time only when my mom is home. Even though the boys have to cook in my family I always have to because they’re too lazy to cook food. My family will always keep the traditions that were made back in Samoa and Hawaii.

The dances that we Polynesians do are very traditional. The dances could be Hawaiian, Tongan, Samoan, Maori, or Tahitian. These dances sometimes could have a special meaning. Most of these dances are danced while wearing a special outfit. Us Polynesian people have outfits for all sorts of different dances. Most of these dances are made up by a person who runs a dance group or has taught their own kids how to dance. We usually perform the dances at occasions such as parties, reunions, flag days, weddings, anniversaries, or funerals. When we dance we always have to be on point with every move just to make sure that none of us make any mistakes. If we’re ever dancing at an occasion we can never go out of the room we’re changing in unless we’re about to go out and dance so that the people we’re performing for don’t see our outfits. In our culture, if we’re doing a dance like a Samoan one we will always do it to a Samoan song. Same thing with the other dances that we dance to.

The Polynesian culture is a fascinating culture. In my own opinion, I honestly love being a Polynesian. Even if I am half and half, I will always consider myself a full Polynesian.


8 Responses to “I am grateful for my traditional Polynesian upbringing”

  1. Mckenzie Hancock on January 31st, 2017 12:15 pm

    Amazing story! I loved every word.


    Jay-Jay Reply:

    Awww thank you so much !!!


  2. tariana on February 27th, 2017 10:42 am

    Awesome job jay jay boo!!! WOW I didnt know you liked to write cuz trust me girl you is good!!! Anyways “cash u out side how bout dat!!!” Love ya! Bye


  3. Keri Graybill on February 27th, 2017 2:15 pm

    Great article. Coming from a part Polynesian home I have experienced many of the things you described! One line really stands out to me, “In the Polynesian culture, it doesn’t matter which culture you are you will always be family.” This is very true. I have experienced this many times throughout my life. Thanks for sharing our culture!


    Mia Patea Reply:

    I loved that Sentence too ! How spiritual !


  4. Mrs. C on February 28th, 2017 10:39 am

    I really enjoyed reading about the Polynesian culture. It sounds like there is a strong focus on respect for elders, which I think is so important. I also like reading about the food! I love trying new cultural foods and cooking them as well. You will have to bring in your favorite recipes.


  5. Kinah Utai on March 4th, 2017 12:41 am

    IMPRESSIVE! I’m so thankful that you’ve shared our Polynesian culture. The one thing that got me was ” Polynesian parents are very strict when it comes to any of the kids in their family,” because I totally get you ! lol. but you know that’s just how Polynesian parents are when it comes to their children! Anyways good job on the article, you did AWESOME! Keep up the good work! 🙂


  6. Mia Patea on May 10th, 2017 10:35 am

    Surprisingly Impressive ! Your pretty good for a beginner lol… I thought you dropped out of this class ? Anyway, Great job Jaydenne ! you are such an inspirational girl ! I am very proud of you ! Keep up the good work. One day it will all pay off ! Thank you so much for spreading our lovley culture ! I love this article ! <3.


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I am grateful for my traditional Polynesian upbringing