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Differences are meant to be celebrated and shared and highlighted as the beauty that makes the world spin around. Each of us and our cultures are different and unique. Please join Blupela in celebrating the uniqueness of your life and heritage by sharing it as a spotlight on Light of Culture.

Create a Light of Culture Spotlight and show the creativity of your people to the world. It can be a photo or video of anything that represents who you are and who you see yourself to be within your communities and cultural background. Art, music, dance, food, clothing, worship, sports, anything that is unique to YOU!

[image for Culture Spotlight Tahitians.jpg]


One World Blue, LLC
The Tahitians, or Maohis, are indigenous peoples of Tahiti and thirteen other Society Islands, as well as the modern population of these lands of mixed ancestry (French: demis). The Tahitians are one of the most significant indigenous Polynesian peoples of Oceania.
The original Tahitian society was unaware of metal as it was based on Stone Age technology. However, it enabled Tahitians to clear land for cultivation on the fertile volcanic soils and build fishing canoes, their two basic subsistence activities.[2] The tools of the Tahitians when first discovered were made of stone, bone, shell or wood.
The Tahitians were divided into three major classes (or castes): ari'i,[3] ra'atira and manahune.[4] Ari'i were relatively few in number while manahune constituted the bulk of population and included some members who played essential roles in the society.[5] It is estimated that by the first contact with Europeans in 1767 the population of Tahiti was no more than 40,000 while other Society Islands held probably 15,000-20,000 natives.[6]
Tahitians divided the day into the periods of daylight (ao) and darkness (pō).[7] There was also a concept of irrational fear called mehameha, translated as uncanny feelings.[8] The healers, familiar with herbal remedies, were called ta'ata rā'au or ta'ata rapa'au. In the 19th century Tahitians added the European medicine to their practice. The most famous Tahitian healer Tiurai, of ari'i, died aged 83 during the influenza outbreak on Tahiti in 1918.
Retrieved from:

Votes1 DateJan 29, 2017

[image for Culture Spotlight Bali1.jpg]

Tribes of Bali

One World Blue, LLC
The Balinese (Indonesian: Suku Bali) are an ethnic group native to the Indonesian island of Bali. The Balinese population of 4.2 million (1.7% of Indonesia's population) live mostly on the island of Bali, making up 89% of the island's population.[3] There are also significant populations on the island of Lombok, and in the eastern-most regions of Java (e.g. the Municipality of Banyuwangi).
The Balinese originated from three periods of migration. The first waves of immigrants came from Java and Kalimantan in prehistoric times and were of proto-Malay stock.[4] The second wave of Balinese came slowly over the years from Java during the Hindu period. The third and final wave came from Java, between the 15th and 16th centuries, about the same time as the conversion to Islam in Java, causing aristocrats and peasants to flee to Bali after the collapse of the Javanese Majapahit Empire in order to escape Mataram's Islamic conversion. This in turn reshaped the Balinese culture into a syncretic form of classical Javanese culture mixed with many Balinese elements.[5]
A DNA study in 2005 by Karafet et al., found that 12% of Balinese Y-chromosomes are of likely Indian origin, while 84% are of likely Austronesian origin, and 2% of likely Melanesian origin.[6]
Balinese culture is a mix of Balinese Hindu-Buddhist religion and Balinese customs. It is perhaps most known for its dance, drama and sculpture. The island is also known for its Wayang kulit or Shadow play theatre. Even in poor rural and neglected villages, beautiful temples are a common sight; and so are skillful gamelan players and talented actors.[7] Even layered pieces of palm leaf and neat fruit arrangements made as offerings by Balinese women have an artistic side to them.[8] According to José Miguel Covarrubias, works of art made by amateur Balinese artists are regarded as a form of spiritual offering, and therefore these artists do not care about recognition of their works.[9] Balinese artists are also skilled in duplicating art works such as carvings that resemble Chinese deities or decorating vehicles based on what is seen in foreign magazines.[10]
The culture is noted for its use of the gamelan in music and in various traditional events of Balinese society. Each type of music is designated for a specific type of event. For example, music for a piodalan (birthday celebration) is different from music used for a metatah (teeth grinding) ceremony, just as it is for weddings, Ngaben (cremation of the dead ceremony), Melasti (purification ritual) and so forth.[11] The diverse types of gamelan are also specified according to the different types of dance in Bali. According to Walter Spies, the art of dancing is an integral part of Balinese life as well as an endless critical element in a series of ceremonies or for personal interests.[12]
Traditionally, displaying of female breasts is not regarded as immodest. Balinese women can often be seen with bared chests; however, a display of the thigh is considered immodest. In modern Bali these customs are normally not strictly observed, but visitors visiting Balinese temples are advised to cover their legs.
In the Balinese naming system, a person's rank of birth or caste is reflected in the name.[13]
The vast majority of the Balinese believe in Agama Tirta, "holy-water religion". It is a Shivaite sect of Hinduism. Traveling Indian priests are said to have introduced the people to the sacred literature of Hinduism and Buddhism centuries ago. The people accepted it and combined it with their own pre-Hindu mythologies.[15] The Balinese from before the third wave of immigration, known as the Bali Aga, are mostly not followers of Agama Tirta, but retain their own animist traditions.
Retrieved from:

Votes1 DateJan 22, 2017

[image for Culture Spotlight Hawaii.jpg]


Bernard Asper
Early history
The original settlement of Hawaii by Polynesians was followed by a second wave of immigrants that sailed from Tahiti during the 9th or 10th century. The original Hawaiians were highly skilled in fishing and farming. By the late 18th century their society had evolved into a complex one with a rigid system of laws set down by chiefs and priests. They worshiped and feared a group of gods not unlike the ancient Greek deities of Mount Olympus in character and power.
Contact with and settlement by Polynesian Tahitians began in the 9th century. The Tahitians ruled the earlier settlers. Powerful classes of chiefs and priests arrived and established themselves. The early Hawaiians lacked a written language. Their culture was entirely oral and rich in myth, legend, and practical knowledge, especially of animals and plant life. Today the Hawaiian alphabet consists in the order of the English alphabet of the letters A, E, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, P, U, and W. The Hawaiians displayed great skill in the use of wood, shell, stone, and bone, and their huge double and outrigger canoes were technical marvels. Navigational methods were well developed, and there was an elaborate calendar. Athletic contests encouraged warrior skills.
The arrival of Europeans
Capt. James Cook, the British explorer and navigator, is generally credited with having made the first European discovery of Hawaii; he landed at Waimea, Kauai Island, on Jan. 20, 1778. He traded with the Hawaiians who considered him a great chief with divine powers. He named them the Sandwich Islands after the Earl of Sandwich, first lord of the British admiralty. Upon Cook's return the following year, he was killed during an affray with a number of Hawaiians at Kealakekua Bay.
The initial appearance of Cook was followed by a period of intermittent contact with the West introducing to the islands various livestock, manufactured goods, and plants. During this period King Kamehameha I used European military technology and weapons to emerge as an outstanding Hawaiian leader first by conquering Hawaii Island in a 10 year civil war ending in 1782, then by seizing and consolidating control over the main island group except for Kauai and Niihau. For 85 years thereafter monarchs ruled over the Hawaiian kingdom. The local chiefs became governors over their islands under King Kamehameha I with this state of governorship coming being extended to include Kauai and Niihau since in 1810 Kaumualii their ruler accepted the rule of King Kamehameha I.
After the death of King Kamehameha I in 1819 his son Liholiho became King Kamehameha II. He abolished the Hawaiian religion. The religion involved large temples, many orders of priests and the belief in many gods and goddesses. Protestantism became the official religion enforced by the chiefs who accordingly forced the Roman Catholics to leave Hawaii. They tried to prevent more from arriving and arrested many Hawaiians who became Roman Catholic. In July 1839 the French sent the frigate L'Artemise to threaten Honolulu unless the Catholics were freed. The frigate's captain also demanded religious freedom for Roman Catholics. The Hawaiians gave in to the captain's demands.
Hawaii eventually had a Queen, Queen Liliuokalani. She seemed as if she would abrogate the constitution of Hawaii. The Committee of Safety, a group of American and European businessmen, some of whom were citizens of the kingdom, seized power in 1893, with the help of a company of U.S. Marines from the U.S.S. Boston, at anchor in the harbor. The U.S. government, under Pres. Grover Cleveland, refused to annex the territory, however, noting that the overthrow of the monarchy was an “act of war” accomplished against popular will using U.S. armed force . A short-lived republic (an oligarchy of American and European businessmen) ensued, until the administration of Pres. William McKinley annexed the islands as U.S. territory in 1900.
As a U.S. territory, Hawaii until 1940 was distinguished by a rapid growth in population, the development of a plantation economy based on the production of sugar and pineapples for consumption on the U.S. mainland, and the growth of transport and military links. Movements for statehood, based in part on Hawaii’s obligation to pay U.S. taxes without having corresponding legislative representation, began to emerge. The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, on Dec. 7, 1941, brought not only Hawaii but the United States as a whole into World War II, and the islands were beset by an upsurge of military activity and a sometimes controversial curtailment of civil liberties.
Since statehood both the population and the economy boomed in Hawaii, with ever-increasing numbers of visitors. Tourism remained the dominant industry in the early 21st century. Visitors are lured not only by the warm climate and exotic beauty of the islands but also by a growing number of world-class resorts, built on such a grand scale that they are destinations in themselves. Moreover, the Mauna Kea Observatory has helped Hawaii become a major world center of astronomy.
Hawaii is by now multiracial with no dominant race. Still despite the draw of Hawaii for tourists, foreigners, and researchers, Native Hawaiians continue to demand land rights, more autonomy in their internal affairs, and the right to self-governance. The establishment of a Native Hawaiian governing entity continues to be debated between Native Hawaiians and those who oppose ancestry-based sovereignty.
Based partially on http://www.britannica.com/place/Hawaii-state and partially on The World Book Encyclopedia, sometimes quoting them verbatim.

Votes3 DateOct 15, 2015

[image for Culture Spotlight Hawaii.jpg]

Native Hawaii

Naphtali Ziff JP
Baila and I have a dream to travel to Hawaii and enjoy the beauty of the land and people. We keep it in our spirits and it motivates us. I thought doing a spotlight on Native Hawaii would be fitting. We just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. May it be for many more.
Enjoy the spotlight!
From Source:
Marked by ingenuity and resourcefulness, the indigenous Hawaiian culture is internationally celebrated for its artistry and sophistication. While excelling in such arts as poetry, dance and sculpture, Hawaiians also established a well-developed judicial system and instituted complex scientific and agricultural methods.
But, who are Native Hawaiians?
Congress defines “Native Hawaiian” as “any individual who is a descendant of the aboriginal people who, prior to 1778, occupied and exercised sovereignty in the area that now constitutes the State of Hawai‘i.” (U.S. Public Law 103-150)
However, Native Hawaiians are so much more. We define ourselves by our relationships with each other, our ancestors and our land. Without these bonds of interconnectedness, we are incomplete.
Being Hawaiian involves nurturing and honoring these ties. In the Hawaiian society, one is expected to know and understand what it means to be a contributing member of the community. Everyone has a kuleana, responsibility, to use his or her talents to the benefit of the entire ‘ohana (literally, family). By fulfilling our duties to the ‘ohana and recognizing the accomplishments of others, Hawaiians increase their mana or spirituality.
Built upon the foundation of the ‘ohana, Hawaiian culture ensures the health of the community as a whole. The Western concept of “immediate family” is alien to indigenous Hawaiians. The Hawaiian ‘ohana encompasses not only those related by blood, but all who share a common sense of aloha (love and compassion). It is common to hear Native Hawaiians who are meeting for the first time ask “Who is your family?” and then joke we must be related “because we are all related.”
The ties that bind ‘ohana together cannot be broken, even by death. As loved ones pass, they continue to fulfill their obligations to the rest of the ‘ohana from the next realm. Hawaiians cherish their ancestors, committing to memory generation upon generation of lineage and composing beautiful chants heralding our ancestors’ abilities.
A lo‘i of kalo
The most important ancestor for all Hawaiians is the land itself. Legend names the first Hawaiian as the kalo (taro) plant. Therefore, as the Hawaiian progenitor, it is every Hawaiians obligation to care for their elder brother, the land.
The Creation
In the beginning, there was Papa (Earth mother) and Wākea (sky father). From these gods descended a still-born child, Hāloa (literally, long stem). Papa and Wākea buried their child, and watched as he changed and grew into the Hawaiian staff of life, kalo (the taro plant).
After Hāloa, another child was born, the first Hawaiian was born. Also named Hāloa in honor of his older brother, the first human to inhabit these islands was inextricably linked to the land that gave birth to him. As the younger siblings, Hawaiians understood their duty to care for their ‘āina, their land, so that it would in turn sustain them.
The Native Hawaiian people cherish their connection to the land. Our language is resonant with allusions to our heritage as kama‘āina, children of the land. The word for “family,” ‘ohana, literally translates as “from the kalo stem.” In acknowledging their interdependence with their ‘āina, Hawaiians created a unique culture, vibrant, sophisticated and efficient in its perceptiveness of the natural world.
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Votes3 DateJul 14, 2015

[image for Culture Spotlight Bajau.png]

Bajau - the real waterworld people

Naphtali Ziff JP
Bajau - the real waterworld people

Votes4 DateMay 6, 2015

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