Letters: Lack of male dancers ‘shames’ CINAT name

Friday October 11, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
The dancers will be joined by eight drummers and support team for their trip on a Australian Air Force air-lift to Sydney. PHOTO BY: Josh Baker - Teariki Productions19091537 The dancers will be joined by eight drummers and support team for their trip on a Australian Air Force air-lift to Sydney. PHOTO BY: Josh Baker - Teariki Productions19091537

Dear editor,

Kia Orana ite aroa maata o te Atua.

Let me remind u all that 51 years ago the late Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Papa Arapati Enere (KBE) made a powerful rebuke statement at the Festival in 1968.

 

Maori Version: Naau rai e te iti tangata Kuki Airani i aka puti i taau peu enua.

English version: You Cook Islanders bastardise your own cultural heritage.

We read in the paper and saw on Cook Islands TV that a team of Cook Islands dancers representing the Cook Islands will be attending the Tattoo Festival in Sydney, Australia.

There’s only one male dancer, 16 female dancers, drummers and singers.

What a joke! This is really a slap in the face to the cultural heritage of this country. 

The question is, aren’t there good enough male dancers in the Cooks?  

In Cook Islands dancing, male dancers are the strong foundation of the move and the women beautify the dance.

I strongly reject this selection and I’m calling on the Minister of Culture to think again because this is wrong – this is a disgrace to our cultural heritage.

People came and voiced their concern and disappointment with the selection and couldn’t believe that the Ministry of Culture has allowed this.

Secondly don’t use the name CINAT (Cook Islands National Art Theatre) because you just shamed this well-known name that many of us Cook Islanders has put on the world map.

Last not the least I challenge my brother Anthony Turua to resign from his position as the Secretary of the Ministry of Cultural Development.

Yours, who loves my Cook Islands culture,

Pastor T Ngarima George
Tumu Korero 

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