Communal dinner on sundays

by Falefatu Tamotu

Poorest nation, richest nation (Issue III+IV/2018)

First of all, a pile of firewood is built up. River rocks are placed in the centre of the pile. While the fire burns down and the stones in it heat up, the men of the family kill a pig and the women prepare bananas and taro, an edible root vegetable. As soon as the wood has burned down, the food is piled in layers on the hot stones. This is topped with a thick layer of banana leaves so that the heat can’t escape. It’s not much fun if you open the umu too soon and your pork isn’t cooked. We all go to church while everything is cooking. After four hours the banana leaves are lifted. Then we invite our neighbours and friends and we all eat together.

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