I was always surprised and amazed by the bringue in Tahiti. The bringue reflects the way of life of Polynesians: act spontaneously, enjoy the present moment and enjoy yourself. Even though I’m used to it, I still shiver like the first day every time I attend a local party. It exudes so much energy! Of course, everyone is in his or her element at the time and we put our hearts into it.
The bringue is simply the regrouping of a group of friends, to which are added complete strangers passing by here at that time. To celebrate a birthday, a wedding or to celebrate nothing at all, everything is occasion to celebrate. Each one brings back his instrument and his voice, and let’s go! Guitar, ukulele, kamaka, djembe, or even rope bin. It must be said that everyone knows how to play music! No one has done the ukulele conservatory or even received a rope dumpster course. There is no shame to be had, we sit down and play. It is as if the musical fiber were part of the DNA of each Polynesian.
And then you have to sing too. No song books, everyone knows the lyrics. At the first chords and words, you know what to sing. The voices are beautiful. Again, the voices carry me and I get goose bumps. Probably, the hours spent at the Church had to facilitate and perfect their polyphonic voices. We are drawn into this vortex of energy and we no longer want to leave it.
There are also other instruments such as homemade maracas. The most typical is the empty beer bottle in which you put 2 spoons that you squeeze to the rhythm of the music. The other is also two spoons that are struck together with his hand and on his thigh. The latter is more technical. If you can’t play ukulele, you can always spoon. But, you know, you’re gonna have to take a day to get into the party circle.
Once carried away in the bringue, we do not stop, the pieces follow each other. Finally, we stop for a few seconds to take a few sips of Hinano (the local beer), essential fuel for playing all night. Mingled with laughter, distorted words and good humor, the bringue is there to gather us, preserve musical traditions and keep the joy of living. One thing is certain, it is that Polynesian energy is present!
Painting: Marco Lundi et Jean Shelsher