Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia
(cont’d from previous post)
Finally, the Polynesian dance school also had a group of little girls, which were there either because they were in fact learning or just because they were ridiculously adorable.
How the heck do they get their hips to do that? It like they dislocate their spines from their pelvic bones or something. It boggles the mind!
One of the things we found interesting was just how young some of the kids who were learning the Tahitian dance were. One little girl was only five! It was something of a culture shock to see such young kids learning a dance with such sexual overtones to it! Interestingly enough, we did not find ourselves completely repulsed like we are when we seen pre-teens in the States wearing push up bras or hip hugging skin tight jeans. So what was the basis for the difference?
Well, the cultural significance and history of Tahitian dance lends a certain purity to the kids that makes their dance cute…unlike an 8 year old dressing like a still drunk college girl stumbling home along the walk of shame. See, in the States there is no cultural history (well, at least not one we’re prone to claim) to that type of attire, so that makes it just trashy vice cute. Also, you can appreciate Tahitian dance on more levels than just sexuality. The dance requires an extreme amount of skill (you try moving your hips like that for 5 minutes straight) and that skill can be appreciated. Wearing revealing clothing is not a skill set. Also the dance itself emphasizes the beauty of the human body vice merely sexuality. Does beauty lead to sexuality? Well, yes but it isn’t the dance’s sole purpose. With the hooker clothes, we really don’t see any other purpose other than sex (note, not even “sexuality” because that can have a beauty all it’s own…but children should not be wearing clothes who’s primary function is to get the wearer laid). How much of this is being overly prudish vs. reasonably protective of young children? Not sure. Though we’d rather err on the side of slightly over-protective.
In summary, this is a cute way to pass on one’s Polynesian cultural heritage:
And this is a mile marker on the highway to hell:
It’s a thin line, we’ll admit and somewhat grey but it’s a line that we’ll stand on.