Penina Tausala set for Gangneung Danoje Festival
Miss American Samoa Skyline Nua and members of the Penina Tausala Dance Production will represent American Samoa at the seven day Gangneung Danoje Festival held annually in the Republic of Korea.
This is the second time Penina Tausala Dance Production will attend this festival, at the invitation of the government of Korea through the Gangneung Danoje Festival Committee, said Meafou Imo, founder of the Penina Tausala.
Last year, the group did not know what to expect but the positive response by the Korean community at last year’s festivities was something they brought back home, said Mrs Imo.
“We were overwhelmed by the Korean crowd after they wanted us to have another special performance and continue dancing even after our dancing sessions were complete".
“I guess because we were the only Pacific Island that attended this annual festival and it was something new for them to view first hand Polynesian dancing, the response was terrific”.
Mrs Imo said American Samoa is scheduled to perform three 20 minute sessions for the festival.
“Because we are representing American Samoa, we will be performing Samoan dances, like the knife dance, mauluulu which would be combined with the sasa”.
She added that Penina Tausala is comprised of girls and boys from the ages of four to twenty-six.
The Korean government provides accommodation, meals and transportation in Korea however, airfares to and from Korea are the responsibility of the performers.
Mrs Imo said because all those traveling will have to pay their airfares out of their own pockets, Penina Tausala will host the 9th Miss Flowers, later on this month, where all the proceeds of this annual pageant will go towards paying the fares of the local delegation to the Korean festival.
The Gangneung Danoje Festival is an annual celebration, held for seven days, starting from June 2, 2012 in the town of Danojang, Gangneung and its surroundings, situated east of the Taebaek Mountain Range on the Korean peninsula.
This festival is the oldest and largest traditional festival in Korea. It was designated as Korean Intangible Cultural. It includes a shamanistic ritual on the Daegwallyeong Ridge, which pays tribute to the mountain deity and male and female tutelary deities. It encompasses traditional music and Odokddegi folk songs, the Gwanno mask drama, oral narrative poetry and various popular pastimes. The Nanjang market, Korea’s largest outdoor marketplace, is today a major element of the festival, where local products and handicrafts are sold and contests, games and circus performances take place.
Part of the delegation from American Samoa is Mr Hun-Hwi Lee, president of the Paradise Inc and several parents of the children who are members of the Penina Tausala. They depart American Samoa on June 2 and will return June 10, 2012.