Posted by: jolantru | September 3, 2009

Wave Twelve: Dance

The City recovers quickly from earthquakes. They have accepted the seismic movements and irregularities as part of life. They celebrate the return of normalcy with dances – nearly all the whole City turns up for the outdoor parties and feasts. Being descendents of immigrants from old Terra Firma who had celebrated the turn of seasons with festivals, the City Council coincides the dance with winter or “Yule”. Our winters are milder and more bearable than Terran ones.

For Yule, I wear a crown of pearls and sea stones, crafted by Auri who used her crafting skills to eke out a living when she was a recluse. My garments are a simple green-gold color, tinged with a hint of light blue – the embodiment of seawater. It being winter, they have been insulated with a thin layer of wool. Josh brings me mahogany calfskin boots, tanned and dyed by Innerlanders craftsmen. In return, I give Auri a blue toga and a dark blue velvet cloak, embroidered with tiny sequined stars, Josh a yellow-brown tunic with tiny embroidered ivy leaves tattooed around the hem, a pair of chocolate pants tailored to match his height.


Men mostly dominate the night circles at my village. Dances are often coupled with stories of masculine bravado and good-natured bragging. The women have their own circles too and the dances are more ecstatic, young women and older mothers throwing themselves into a wild frenzy as the drums throb and chanters sing.

In the City, men and women attend the dances. It is an eye-opening and learning experience for me. I find myself relaxing, laughing and enjoying myself as Josh spins me around and Auri pulling me to join a circle-dance, both of us skipping in time with the music.


Josh introduces me to the wassailing, whereby people would visit different households, singing songs. It is a tradition kept and practiced by his family.

“There is also the orchard-visiting wassail,” he says as we walks back to our table, deliciously tired after the dance and immensely thirsty. He pours me a bit of cider and the sweet acidic drink fills my mouth, before going down my throat in a pleasant rush. “We sing to make sure we have a good harvest. Do you have similar traditions?”

“The older women pray to Ma-Tzu, the goddess of the sea. It is an old tradition passed down from the first-wave immigration time.” I say and memories return, bringing me back to childhood. “We now see the sea as a protector. We call ourselves daughters of the sea.”

We talk about traditions the whole night while the musicians continue playing their repertoire of songs. Auri talks a little about the particular customs of her village but she mostly listens to the conversation, content to just enjoy the company.

I realize that our triad is a small community of sorts. We bring into the relationship a pastiche of our experiences, our stories. We mirror one another.



  1. I realize that our triad is a small community of sorts. We bring into the relationship a pastiche of our experiences, our stories. We mirror one another.

    I like this. So very much is conveyed in these three short sentences.

    Thank you for sharing this story.

    • You are welcome and thank you. 🙂

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