Friday, June 1, 2012

Samoa Depicted Authentically at the PCC

I've been asked whether the depiction of Samoan culture at the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie, Hawaii, is authentic. I always say, yes, it is authentic.

I've also heard complaints at its inauthenticity, in that it glosses over many important features of life in Samoa or life as a Samoan. And I always acknowledge the truth of these complaints: not that it's inauthentic but that many important features of life in Samoa and life as a Samoan are not included in the center's depiction of Samoa and its people (the same goes for the other six cultures showcased).

Is this a contradiction? I don't think so.

The Polynesian Cultural Center is designed to present in a short time (admission is good for three days) only a small portion of what it's like to live in a few of the many Polynesian nations.

Do you think Polynesian Cultural Center would have attracted 32 million visitors since it opened in 1963 if its entertainers walked around wearing dark, drab costumes and long, sad faces complaining about how bad it is to live in Polynesia (and perhaps work at such a place)?

I don't think so.

So sit back, relax, and enjoy a classic show about (a portion) of the FaŹ»asamoa, the Samoan way of life, as presented by the Polynesian Cultural Center.

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