Kisses In The Nederends Summary

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Epeli Hau’ofa’s Kisses in the Nederends is a satirical novel about the Pacific islands which portrays various aspects of the lives of the Pacific islanders; their cultures, traditions, languages, and societies, in a non-academic writing style. The story takes place mainly in the fictional Pacific island of Tipota where the main character Oilei Bomboki wakes up one day to his severe pain in his backside. Searching for the cure of his backside pain, Oilei travels throughout the island and eventually overseas to meet a number of traditional medical practitioners, faith healers and western doctors. What makes this novel so unique is the fact that it is written in such a comical manner. According to Hau’ofa, laughing at their own problems is…show more content…
Throughout the book, Christianity-related words such as “Christ”, “Lord”, “The Holy Book”, and “church” are mentioned multiple times by the characters as well as in the narratives of the story. The people of Tipota often pray to the Christian God or express that they will be obeying to the “Almighty” as devout Christians and Christianity is incorporated into their everyday lives. This indicates the effect of colonialism in which the Tipotans were largely converted to Christianity from their native religion. According to the book, although chief Ratai Tevoro Levu of Tumunu, the south-eastern village of Tipota, fought against Christianity, he eventually had to surrender to the “superior forces of the foreign god” in order to save his villagers’ lives. In reality, this kind of instances can be seen throughout the history of Pacific islands, including the case of Hawaiian kingdom. From the arrival of Captain Cook in 1778 to the arrival of American missionaries in the 1800s, Hawaiians were constantly under the influence of Christianity. Eventually, most Hawaiians became Christians as a result of the “missionary imperialism”, in which the missionaries used the mass death of Hawaiian people as an excuse to make them convert to Christianity (Trask 1999). Therefore, by showing that most Tipotans have also been Christians for over the past century due to the foreign settlers, Kisses in the Nederends portrays how many Pacific islanders have been stripped off of their native religious identity as a result of
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