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AuthorLaura Toailoa

Author Archive: Laura Toailoa

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August 14, 2016

The Pasifika art world, like many other art worlds, is vibrant, diverse, deep, wide, and carries a myriad of different meanings for different people. From traditional tattooing (the word tattoo is derived from the Polynesian word tatau), song, and dance, to contemporary visual and performance art, and modern variations of tattoing, Pasifika artists explore their […]

August 7, 2016

But where are you from from? The answer people look for varies, depending on whether they want to know where my accent is from, or where I lived before moving to Wellington, or if they’re a Samoan asking what villages my parents are from. Geographically, here’s a quick overview: I was born in Samoa and […]

August 7, 2016

I knew I couldn’t go through university on my own—or, rather, I didn’t see want to do it on my own. As a Pasifika first year needing friends I joined the Samoan Students’ Associations. The solidarity of that group really helped to make the shy, quiet, first-year-me more confident with meeting new people in new […]

July 24, 2016

When the Pasifika Students’ Council teamed up with P.A.C.I.F.I.C.A. (a women’s organisation) to host an event titled “Empowering Pacific Women in Education”, you best believe there was a mix of impromptu dancing and choreographed routines, beautiful fairy lights, and whole lotta knowledge and wisdom passed down from experienced and successful women in the workforce to […]

May 29, 2016

I laugh (but mostly cringe) at first-year-me’s opinions: namely, that Pacific Studies was an unnecessary subject field and that it’s only there for people who needed easy points for their degree. I firmly believed that people who took Pacific Studies were the Islanders that didn’t want to take a real subject, who didn’t want to […]

May 29, 2016

One of my favourite activities is sorting through boxes of sentimental stuff and deciding what to keep, and what to reorganise into a tidier box of crap. Similar to this is the addictive Facebook-friend-deletion-spree I undergo bi-annually. But this year, I’m adding a more productive activity to this spring-clean genre of hobbies I seem to […]

May 15, 2016

I’ve known people who’ve gotten through their degrees with last-minute all-nighters, not doing their readings, and attending the exact number of classes as is mandatory. But we cannot afford the time or the money to be fickle and half-assed about our time here. We don’t have families with the money that can bail us out […]

May 8, 2016

It’s graduation week coming up and Facebook will be exploding with photos of graduates drowning in ula lole. Tears will be shed, parents will swell with pride, families will yell and cheer at the graduation ceremony, and the graduates will feel embarrassed, but also grateful that they’re so enthusiastic and supportive. Isaac Newton famously said, […]

May 1, 2016

What better time to write a column about “pain” than when I’m in the middle of writing an essay that’s hurting my will to finish the year… (What do you mean it’s only the second half of the first trimester??!!). I had a difficult and uncomfortable conversation with my sister once in which I wanted […]