Daily 49er

Pasifika Voice opens the mic to Pacific Islander performers

The night will feature performances from new and returning dancers, poets and more.

A+dancer+from+CSULB%E2%80%99s+Pacific+Islanders%E2%80%99+Association+performed+for+an+audience+at+the+kick+off+International+Education+week.
A dancer from CSULB’s Pacific Islanders’ Association performed for an audience at the kick off International Education week.

A dancer from CSULB’s Pacific Islanders’ Association performed for an audience at the kick off International Education week.

Sabrina Flores | Daily 49er

Sabrina Flores | Daily 49er

A dancer from CSULB’s Pacific Islanders’ Association performed for an audience at the kick off International Education week.

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Set a date on your calendars for a night of cultural celebration through song, dance and spoken word.

The Cal State Long Beach Pacific Islanders’ Association intends to bring awareness to the culture through art at this year’s Pasifika Voice open mic night from 7 to 9 p.m., Saturday in the University Student Union Ballrooms.

This year’s event, fittingly themed “For the Culture,” is the eighth installment in the club’s annual open mic nights.

“If you’re really curious [about] Pacific Islander culture you should come out and see what it is, you don’t even have to stay the whole time,” said Jasmine Teo, alumnus and former president of the club. “[The event is] definitely relatable to other cultures.”

Admission is $2, which will include catered food and feature artists Sarai McKenzie, Mercy Lagaaia, Celina Yandall, Joshua Faasua, Aliyah Moala and Abigail Ativalu.

Pasifika Voice is an open mic event that invites Pacific Islander artists from all over the state to perform. The event functions as a catalyst in educating the campus about issues that those who are not Pacific Islander would not know about.

This years theme presents the challenge to performers to emphasize their use of language and draw attention to the way language has shaped the world.

“Our theme relates to all the division many people have felt within the country, and how we as a Pacific Islander community can continue to come together and promote inclusivity and positivity,” Dora Gomez, vice president of the club said. “We wanted [artists] to focus on their specific language and how they’ve used that in their life.”

“A lot of our artists are [returning] artists and I’m really excited to see their fresh take on [the theme],” Bianca Rivera, secretary of the club said.

Melerelini Loane, a member of the association, has attended every Pasifika Voice since the first event in November 2009.

“[The night] is a space of where Pacific Islanders are able to voice their concerns, thoughts, passion and love,” Loane said. “Most of us Pacific Islanders’ were brought up in America, which is very different from being on the islands. We were raised to be quiet. Because of CSULB, we have learned that we have a safe spot and that it is okay for us to voice, our passion and thoughts.”

Loane said she is looking forward to hearing the spoken word pieces at the event and feeling the “mana” or fire within the poet’s’ hearts. She said the poems give her the opportunity to experience the artist’s struggles and feel what they are feeling.

“The atmosphere is pretty mellow and chill, a lot of people like that because they’re expecting something where it’s like you get to hear like the voice of Pacific Islander rather than reading it in a book,” Teo said. “So I think it’s a cool opportunity to have both the Pacific Islander and non-Pacific Islander communities come out to kind of support and also educate themselves in regards to issues our community faces.”

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