Opening events with pomp and ceremony are part of the role you play as the President of French Polynesia.
You arrive as the President: the Country’s major VIP. You and your entourage are welcomed. The traditional greetings continue as you are escorted along the route to the stage, where you will say a few words. No one wants long speeches.
A bit like the shock of the unknown in a ghost train, serious women in bright clothing spring out in front of you. They chant and sing. A man throws baby powder into the air.
It’s all too much. You try to suppress your amusement. Your shoulders start to shake. You give up and burst into laughter, singing along with the women.
You recompose yourself in time to cut the tape of tiare flowers.
This is a happy occasion and everyone is relaxed.
The event from the 3rd to 6th May in the Place To’ata, Papeete, Tahiti is the:
Fenua means land. There are over 90 stalls set up with people selling locally made French Polynesian products.
There’s a 4 day programme of Music, dance, comedy and song all performed on the small stage.
With glorious weather, the event is popular keeping the traders busy.
The temporary stalls took a week to erect by strong Tahitian men.
This time next week, the venue will be ready to host a different event.