Sandwiched between elaborate, big-budget multicultural weeks this semester was the relaxed Oceania week. The Oceania region is comprised of 10,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. The week showcased regions like Hawaii, Tonga, Tahiti, Samoa and Micronesia. Furthermore, 8 or 9 new regions were featured during this multicultural week. The Oceania community has always been a tight-knit group in Beppu, but it has grown bigger and stronger since 2013.
This year’s opening parade had dances such as the hula dance from Hawaii and a stick dance from the Maori people. On their exhibition day, items such as fans from Fiji, Tongan printed clothes, and a Palauan storyboard were displayed. Moreover, the exhibition also had an open mic event where songs and poetry from all nationalities were welcomed. The community had invited everyone with open arms and the “Aloha spirit” as the Hawaiians call it. The final event, the grand show, followed a couple reminiscing about their travels in the Oceania region as their love story unfolded through these travels. Each memory recollected in the skit was followed by a dance. There were many group dances from regions like Niue, the Solomon Islands, and the Marshall Islands.
While the main theme of this year’s Oceania week was not intentionally meant to be based on community spirit, it was naturally engraved in their work. It was remarkable how each dance and event, even the ones without many people, expressed the community spirit and values of the Oceania region.