Saturday, 12 October 2013


Last night from my hotel across the TaiOHae bay, I heard music and drums and wondered whether a cruise ship had arrived after dark and was being welcomed with a performance. I am a little sad that I never saw such a one, but as much as the Marquesans love dancing (apparently), these performances are a patchwork quilt of remembered dances linked with Hollywood patterns and with what locals think foreigners need to see. I wouldn’t want to be hanging around with the patronising smiles I have seen on other tourists. I would find that offensive. So music has been in short supply during the holiday, except for the thump of pop, reggae, rap and techno sounds imported from elsewhere – and so much of that in English. God bless America! But memories of the sensational uplifting singing during last Sunday’s Catholic church service will stay with me forever. Somewhere I did learn it was true what I thought had been the case – the service was in French and the songs/hymns sung in Marquesan.

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