Native Affairs - Culture + Language = Success

By Renee Kahukura-Iosefa

The Arioi Cultural Centre in Tahiti is uplifting the educational achievements of children who are failing in mainstream schools.

“Our values are our passion, culture and family. Many of our children come from the low socio-economic parts so we decided to help them by using our culture,” says cultural director Hinatea Columbine.

By teaching the children song, dance and music all in their native language, Columbine says it will help create future pathways for his students.

“That is why we decided to hire a Tahitian teacher. She is the one reference so all the children and forces them to speak in Tahitian with her.”

The centre is named after the Arioi – who were artists with a wealth of knowledge about traditional ceremonies, dances and chanting with the drums.

“We want to fuse the past with today. That’s why we put the name Arioi, to teach the children their history.”

Thank you to Tahiti Tourisme & Air Tahiti Nui for sponsoring this story.