Illustrated by Lin Jia-Dong
How difficult is it to be a "real" indigenous person?
We need to have dark skin, be very good at singing, be athletic;
sometimes we have to be humorous, optimistic, and also a very good drinker!
But what if we don't fit social expectations?
Does that mean I'm not a "real" indigenous person?
At every stage of an indigenous person's life
we are tested by our culture and customs.
We are given a name when we are born,
this is the symbol we identify with, how we know who we are.
When we come of age, we need to pass strict trials,
to prove we can support a family and safeguard our community.
When we enter marriage and start a family,
there are customs and taboos we need to follow.
By doing so, we are not only keeping the family together and happy,
but also showing our children how it is done, from one generation to the next.
Becoming a "real" indigenous person
was never about how the outsiders think.
It is the accumulated culture over the years that form our self identity
and let us feel the responsibility and pride of being an indigenous person.
N.B.: tuiisua tacini Cau Vuvurung means "becoming an indigenous person" in Kanakanavu language.