May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).
Like most commemorative months, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill.
Kava kava (Piper Methysticum) is a lush, leafy green member of the pepper family, from the tropical islands of the South Pacific.
Kava kava whose Latin name Piper methysticum literally translates as “intoxicating pepper” has been used for centuries, by the inhabitants of the South Pacific Islands -as a ritual drink, a social beverage, and also as a medicine.
Food & Drink in Somoa
Food in Samoa derives mainly from tropical crops, root vegetables, coconut products, fresh fruit, pork, chicken and, of course, seafood. The traditional Polynesian feast is cooked in an umu, an above-the-ground oven. The traditional Sunday meal is nearly always cooked in the umu. ‘Ava or kava is a drink made from the ground roots of pepper plants and has a mild tranquilising effect. It is usually drunk as a prelude to ceremonial gatherings and village meetings.
Photo Credit: fijian-kava.com