The Real Deal

The final showcase had been postponed twice. I get the impression that they must be perfectionists. Finally last Friday night they decided that was that. None too early! Monday they’re supposed to part for the grand tour with performance in San Jose, LA and Honolulu. The Christian Congregational Church of American Samoa Petesa-UTA youth group’s showcase was worth the wait. Admittedly it’s folklore already very far removed from its roots with the eternal dilemma of having to pretend to affirm some elusive national identity and emphasize more pretty questionable moral values, but it stands, in my humble opinion, as an effort to coordinate our scattered selves and express a sense of communality.

In case you wondered: Yes, the backdrop is a humongous church in Disneyland style. There are many of them in American Samoa. This tiny island ranks second to none in the world for the number of churches per capita. There are churches everywhere here and people are in the habit to visit a couple of them each Sunday. Obviously some serious money is pumped into those institutions, they shine and sheen in mighty prowess but don’t manage to inspire much admiration for their architectural style. You might easily mistake them for a drive in movie palace. Maybe that’s what they are. Fact is they are very much in charge of all things cultural, structured youth activities and such.

I hope you enjoy the feast for the eyes and ears!

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