Brendan Bradford writes, Manly’s Pacific Islander players who used ‘cultural beliefs’ to not wear the club’s rainbow-stripe jersey lack a true understanding of their communities.
In Samoan culture, your contribution to the community matters more than who you sleep with, as the result of Manly’s Jersey boycott continues, said Samoan academic Dr.
Seven Sea Eagles players refused to wear specially designed inclusive jerseys last week, citing religious and cultural reasons.
But Dr Enari, a lecturer at AUT specializing in the Samoan diaspora in New Zealand and Australia, says the argument is dubious at best.
“Speaking as a Samoan – and as it is in many other parts of the Pacific – they are more concerned with who you sleep with at night, rather than what you collectively contribute,” Dr. Enari told CodeSports.
“That is the main root. One’s position within society in the islands, and the collective culture we come from, stems from how they serve the collective, as opposed to who they sleep with.”
The collective structure for the Pacific Island Community cannot be overstated.
“The cornerstone of Pacific culture is to care for your fellow man,” says Enari. “That’s what Samoan culture and culture is all about in the Pacific.
“Everything in Pacific culture goes back as a mainstay point.
“This is not to exclude different groups, it is to serve as a brother or sister to one’s fellow man.”
In that regard, queer people in the Pacific are treated and treated in line with what they provide to the community.
“A lot of Pacific queer in the islands are held in high esteem because they are so good at serving the extended family, the village, and the country,” says Enari.
“From a Samoan point of view, some of the highest titles are held by people who identify as gender fluid and gay. Your status has nothing to do with sexual preference. It’s all about how you serve the community. How to do
“Queer communities in the Pacific have an enormous and well-proven track record of service because they are able to perform the duties of a male and a female.
“That’s how they earn prestige and value.”
Historically, sexual identity and gender were far more fluid in the Pacific.
Writing last week in the Sydney Morning Herald, Professor Giozzi Ravulo, academic at the University of Sydney, says homosexuality arose only after colonialism and the introduction of the Bible.
“Sexuality was seen as an expression of building relationships socially and with others,” wrote Professor Ravulo.
Enari agrees, adding: “Historically, there are actually some islands, pre-Christianity, where you sleep with other men, especially with other men you go to war, as a method of trial.” As if they can trust their fellow man.
“Ideal who were Anti-It came from the Bible and the beginning of Christianity.
“When you actually go to the islands, there are many queer people who hold power and positions of mind in the community and in the government.”
In fact, queer communities live side-by-side and happily co-exist with the Church in the Pacific.
“In the islands, and I’ve lived there, a lot of churches are decorated and maintained by queer people,” Enari says.
“It just shows the intricacies and how good the two are.
“In terms of religion, most queer people go to church and many of them take on prevalent roles in the church as youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, choir masters.
“A lot of queer communities still attend church regularly.”
With a delicate theme, and areas more gray than black and white, Enari believes that some of the issue with the Seven Manly players stems from a disconnection to the culture in the islands.
“A lot of these observations come from people who were born in the diaspora, who didn’t live in the islands,” he says.
“Many of them are from churches in the diaspora in the West, but most of them were not born and raised in the islands.
“Most of these players are born and brought up in the diaspora, and have not seen the intricacies. They haven’t seen that integral role for themselves, which they are so proud of.”