I do not really remember the exact moment I began my conscious journey of identity and feeling that I was different from the rest, but I do remember the time. I had moved schools shy of intermediate where the school roll was more than double my previous school, I knew nobody and the kids were mostly white. An incredible contrast to the mostly brown faces I was used to schooling with. There was no Polynesian group and singing practice consisted of songs only in English. Importance was placed on how trendy your clothes were and the latest duraseal your books were covered in. Meeting and connecting with a brown face was something very novel and exciting. The Rents had not thought enough of the cultural changes I would face and as a consequence I struggled with my lack of preparation. It felt like I had moved to a new country, not a school in a new suburb which made for hell at times, but I did manage to make a few friends along the way who I am still friends with today. These school years also prepared me somewhat for high school, thankfully, even if it was the hard way.
This is me - Teine 'Afakasi.
3 weeks ago