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Its always great to see Pacific Islanders to hook up!

(Photo; dance performance by Samoa Tunu Taueli)

Islanders from all over the Pacific living in Europe were invited for the 5th edition of the Pacific Festival in the small German town Susel, Europe. The sun was shining, the pig for the umu prepared and the atmosphere was amazing. The location exist of 8 houses and for each Island group there was one house. It was great to see that Pacific Islanders hooking up with each other, this time in Europe, Germany.

After a long journey that took about 5 hours driving by car we arrived on Friday the first of July about 8 o’clock in a picturesque town called Susel, near the Baltic sea. The town was very small but it seems cosy and relaxed. The mainstreet in Susel was split up and only one direction was the correct one, we only discovered that after taking 4 times the wrong way. Passing a small forest we came closeby our destination. And there it was; on a nice terrain 8 triangle shaped houses which normally functioned as a youth hostel. We were welcomed by loud Pacific music and introduced to some Pacific Islanders that already were arrived. Due to some traffic problems the organiser Mr. and Ms. Assmann arrived later that evening. The group of Islanders was about 30 people representing; Samoa, Tonga, Tahiti, Kiribati and Fiji. And despite the fact that there were coming 40 persons more in the weekend the party was running well. Specially that evening Samoan Tahitian and Tongan dance groups were amazing to see, all dressed up in traditional wearing. Dancing, talking, laughing and eating were mainly the common ways of enjoy this Friday evening. While some guests were taking their ways to the huts at 2 o`clock in the next morning some other were partying all night long understanding the fact that this Festival only took one weekend.

At 8:30 on a warm Saturday morning the bell was ringing which means that the breakfast was ready. While greeting everybody who already were sitting at the tables, the hosts were busy preparing breakfast and the guests were enjoying a typical German Breakfast. Thoughts run trough our mind and we hoped on more Islanders this day comparing with the day before.

To take a change to enjoy the German culture the reporters of WSAMOA took the opportunity to see some local activities in Susel. While returning back to our base, we recognized that the group was extended till about 80 Islanders. Fifteen people from Fiji who serving in the army of Great-Britain lived in Germany joining the festival plus a Tongan from the Netherlands, a Samoan from Denmark and a group of Papua New Guinea dancers. In the afternoon the Fijians were busy preparing a original umu and put the pig on the umu while some others looked curious to the whole process. In the afternoon all of us were welcomed to be a part of the afternoon worship. This worship lead by a German Pastor who was ringed 30 minutes before and was more then willing to lead the worship. Nice stories of the Pastor came together with some beautiful singing from Fijians. After we prayed we had a copple of hours to prepare ourselves for the evening and umu party.

On the Saturday afternoon kids were playing with each other and we invited the Fijians for a game of rugby. Unfortunately we lost, but we had a great game. At 7 o’clock all preparations had been made for dinner and the umu-pig was ready together with some home made salads, chicken, fish and more Pacific Islanders food. The food tasted very good and it was a long time ago since we had Pacific food from all Islands. With full stomachs we looked forward to the evening program full of dancing, drinking and laughing. All of this was there; we sat with about 60 people in a small half arena looking to dancers from Tonga and Fiji.
Samoa was represented by Jerry from Denmark, Tunu Taueli and the Tusa-Susuga family from the Netherlands.

After seeing the first two dancegroups, the people from Papua New Guinea were ready to dance and it was impressive to see but a very nice performance. The absolute
``moment supreme`` were the kids from Samoa, Tonga and Tahiti performing the Haka with real-life painting on their faces. Absolutely great to see. During the show people from Fiji shared with everybody the own made Kava. A process which is well known by all Pacific Islanders! Most Fijians were serving the army but were on a break at the moment. Some of them already served their duty in Iraq. Lucky for everybody the weather was fine and there was a lot of laughing, dancing till the next morning.

After breakfast at 8:30 in the morning there was a goodbye from everyone to everybody. The 5th Pacific Festival in Germany was ended and by far a great succes. Driving all the way home we said to eachother; its always great to hook up with Pacific Islanders.

Thanks to the organisers; Mr and Ms Assmann
Thanks for the kava Fijians!
And Jerry, looking forward to see you again!
And Tunu Great performance!

Maurice van Vliet
Reporter of WSAMOA.WS

The HAKA by Samoan and Tongan kids!
Tunu Taueli in traditional Samoan clothing
Part of the Samoans
The umu pig was ready while some curious kids were standing there looking if he was really dead
The food ready to serve