News: ANSF introduced to Asian Pacific heritage
Story by Sgt. Daniel Schroeder
KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – From the Islands of Hawaii, the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade has the pleasure to experience the vast culture from around the Pacific. The 25th CAB recently had the opportunity to share a bit of that culture with members of the Afghan National Security Forces on Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan.
Soldiers assigned to Task Force Wings, who are native to the Pacific Islands, performed a couple dances from their culture to the distinguished visitors.
“It is an honor being able to perform some of our culture for others,” said 1st Lt. Tamatane Letuli, Headquarters and Headquarters Company executive officer, 25th CAB, and a native from American-Samoa. “It is always a good time performing these dances. It's fun for us, and the crowd seems to enjoy the show.”
The dances represented a piece of culture from different islands. One of the dances performed was the Haka, a traditional ancestral war cry dance. During the dance, all parts of the body represent the many instruments used to create the symphony of the Haka.
“The dances tell a story, I try to figure out what the story is while they are performing,” said Spc. Christy Michlewski, an administrative clerk assigned to HHC, 25th CAB, and a native of East Pointe, Mich. “The Haka is my favorite dance because of the various war moves from ancient times that differ from today.”
Luaus are one way for the many dances of Pacific cultures for people not familiar with the heritage to be presented. Dances can be used to express oneself or the mood of an event.
According to Letuli, the dances are a big part of the culture. It is important to keep them going by passing them on to younger generations.
This was not the first time the 25th CAB and KAW have come together to share their cultures. Last month, in mid April, the soldiers of the KAW invited 25th CAB soldiers to their airfield where they entertained them with traditional Afghan music, song and dance.
With the sharing of cultures between the ANSF and coalition forces, the experience gained will hopefully create a closer relationship for future operations.