Sometimes the best way to understand something you are unfamiliar to you is through comedy. If someone is able to relay information by using satire and are comfortable enough to do so then it makes the readers feel just as comfortable. Hau’ofa’s Nederlands introduces a Pacific island culture by using satire in a particularly unique way. The focus on the anus and bodily functions kind of takes a less serious look on the culture shift which the Polynesian characters experienced throughout the novel. Interestingly the language is familiar to non-Polynesian readers which is also important in the understanding of the culture.
Although hilarious that Oilei’s farting is out of control it is important that Hau’ofa still addresses how important Oilei is to the community. Through the satire you begin to understand the tension within the village and how the community collaborates. Compared to other books we have read so far this one is definitely less serious but still manages to teach us about the culture in a rather successful way. Comedy is attractive and often people can learn from it, from this novel you learn the dynamics in the village and how individuals are affected by the changes within their community.