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Connecting with our culture

Our culture influences so much about us – it is, after all, a key part of our identity and it can even shape our first experiences of life.

Our culture can help us make sense of well... everything! It’s often when we’re a culture that’s different to our own, we recognise our values, beliefs and traditions are pretty unique.

Living away from our Pacific culture can make us feel disconnected, and a bit lost. It can help to actively reconnect with people and activities that remind us of our Pacific roots and heritage.

Some simple ways we can do this include:

  • getting in touch with family members both here and in the islands
  • joining a group aligned with our Pacific culture
  • learning or speaking our Pacific language with others
  • volunteering at places that support those who share our culture
  • joining a Siva group
  • playing a sport that’s ‘big’ for our culture – as we often meet people who are doing exactly the same thing
  • finding ways to practice and appreciate music – if music is a part of what we love, it is often culturally influenced
  • joining art groups, as art can also be a great way to express our culture
  • starting projects that explore our culture, such as gathering stories, learning traditional songs, and researching our history.

Many times, these sorts of activities combine lots of things that boost our wellbeing, like being active, connecting with others, learning, being present and giving our time.

Also those who are like us, from a similar generation or with a similar background, can often be an amazing support, as they tend to naturally understand what things are like from our perspective. It’s so great when we hear someone reply with ‘I know what you mean’ or ‘I know how you feel.’ It’s our Pacific aiga and friends who can do this.

There are also lots of benefits to be gained in participating in cultural activities, as when we do these things it creates meaning and supports our sense of identity. That’s pretty special. In fact we can’t really go wrong! Connecting with our culture is really good for us.