1 results for Adams, P

  • Distinctive alcohol cultural practices amongst Niuean men living in Auckland, New Zealand

    Nosa, Vili; Adams, P; Hodges, I (2011)

    Journal article
    The University of Auckland Library

    The aim of this paper is to describe some of the distinctive cultural practices evident in Niuean men’s drinking behaviours. The paper is also intended to illustrate that alcohol is an integral aspect of the Niuean culture and part of the system of cultural exchange. Alcohol has become an integral component of Niuean cultural rituals to the extent that celebrations and festivals are thought to be incomplete if alcohol is not present. Alcohol is used as a tool for expressing cultural values such as fakaalofa (gifting), generosity, respect, status and host obligations. Finally, alcohol is used as a symbol of ‘being Niuean’ and being a ‘real’ Niuean man. This paper will describe how practices specific to Niuean men such as drinking the ‘Niuean way’ and kalaga are symbols that help to reinforce men’s cultural identity, enhancing their feeling of communal identity. It is important to emphasize that it is difficult to divorce the ‘cultural’ components of Niuean men’s drinking styles from their drinking and behaviour more generally. Culture shapes people’s values and behaviours. Although this paper points to some of the specific and distinctively ‘cultural’ aspects of Niuean drinking, we must recognize that all of the participants’ drinking behaviours and attitudes are likely to have been shaped by their cultural and social context. Furthermore, this paper provides only a brief snapshot of how culture and alcohol are intertwined for Niuean men. Educational programmes and host responsibility guidelines need to be culturally appropriate to suit the needs of the Niuean community. Further workis needed to elucidate this complex topic. Keywords: Niuean: alcohol drinking styles; cultural practices; rituals; communal identity

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