How is the idea of identity and belonging conveyed in three texts you have studied? Wild Dogs under my Skirt by Tusiata Avia • Avia uses the process of being tattooed, and descriptions of the tattoos themselves to convey her identity and belonging to Samoan culture. • Technique: Simile • Example: “I want my legs like centipedes / the black ones / that sting and swell for weeks” • Meaning: This quote means that Avia wants images on her malu to relate to the black centipedes commonly found in Samoa. In this way, her malu is symbolic of her Samoan heritage. Bred in South Auckland by Glenn Colquhoun • Colquhoun uses stereotypes of four cultures commonly found in South Auckland to celebrate its diversity. • Technique: Pun • Example: “I think I am the luckiest mongrel I know.” • The word “mongrel”, refers to the negative stereotypes some people hold against South Auckland. However, “mongrel” also means “mixed breed” when referring to a dog – in this way the word conveys the diversity of South Auckland at the same time as rejecting negative stereotypes of the area. Fast Talking PI – Selina Tusitala Marsh • Marsh makes an extensive list of many ways Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand could be described. • Technique: Listing • Example: “I’m an All Black PI…I’m an MA PI” • This quote conveys two things Pacific Islanders are commonly successful at in New Zealand – Sport and Education. Marsh herself was the first person of Pacific Island descent to gain a PhD from the University of Auckland. MA means Master of Arts and is a postgraduate degree. By listing many things a Pacific Islander can be, Marsh asserts their individuality and conveys her sense of identity and culture. Why should Year 10s read these poems? • The poetry is all about identity. The three poets discussed use poetry to assert their identity and convey their cultural heritage. By reading these poems, students will begin to gain an understanding about how poetry can give people a voice, and help them understand “who they are”.