I took my year 11 Drama class to see a show in town last week.
We were sitting in Q Theatre waiting for the show to start, looking at the students from other schools in the venue.
One of my students asked, “Sir, are we the only Islanders in here?”
Me: “They look like Islanders in that school sitting over there.”
Student: “I mean real Islanders.”
Me: “What are ‘real’ Islanders?”
This is why we have to take our students out of their comfort zones sometimes!
A Samoan friend of mine, Crystal Collins, wrote this thoughtful response:
“Coming from the ‘southside’ doesn’t make you more islander than someone from another part of Auckland, or NZ for that matter. Your understanding, respect and love for your culture, for your parents’ culture and traditions, and how you present yourself and represent your aiga – that’s what makes you a real islander. Not where you were born or where you grow up. We can always do more about expanding the horizons of our young people, and even some of our elders too.”