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As daughters of the ocean we sweat and cry salt water

I am currently reading 'WE ARE THE OCEAN; SELECTED WORKS ' by Epeli Hau'ofa and this post reminded me of Hau'ofa's essay 'Our Sea of Islands' where he tackled the notion of belittlement and how western imperialism has contributed to the belittlement of Oceania.

'Nineteenth-century imperialism erected boundaries that led to contraction of Oceania, transforming a once boundless world into the Pacific Island States and territories that we know today. People were confined to their tiny spaces, isolated from each other. No longer could they travel freely to do what they had done for centuries' (1993).

Prior to Western imperialism and the erection of imaginary boundaries and borderlines we were a connected people, the ocean our home. We were not 'islands in a far sea' a disconnected people as most would like to think but rather 'a sea of Islands' a united people that stood firm together. Though we are now physically disconnected we still feel this close connection to our sisters and that is because we are Daughters of Moana, Daughters of Daob, Daughters of the Solwara, Daughters of the Ocean. It is said that after birth a child carries with him/her a piece of the mother throughout his/her lifetime it is no wonder we as Pasifika people feel a close connection to the ocean. And Teresia Teiwa summed this up beautifully by saying 'we sweat and cry salt water so we know the ocean is really in our blood'. As daughters of the ocean we sweat and cry salt water as we stand together in prayer for our sister Tonga.

Story Information:

Country: Papua New Guinea

Topic: Oceans

Photo or video credit: @bara_melanesia

Text Credit: mary Terriette Aseari

Date : 16 January 2022

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