Friday, February 27, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Prison uses cultural awareness to bring cohesiveness

CSP-Solano Cultural Awareness Day 4_2_14

Johnny Jones, right, and Len Nguyen, left, practice the Haka traditional Maori ritual at the Cultural Awareness Day celebration, Wednesday at California State Penitentiary, Solano. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A3 | April 03, 2014 |

VACAVILLE — Saia Reupena, wearing his traditional lava-lava, said his goal was to have the audience smile and have fun.

Judging by the reaction to his banter at the fourth annual Cultural Awareness Day at California State Prison Solano, he succeeded. The Samoan took the lead during a few Hawaiian/Pacific Islander ceremonial dances in front of hundreds of inmates gathered in the Level 2 gymnasium.

The day is designed to introduce the various cultures, religions and ethnicities that must live together in the prison. The goal is to foster cohesiveness and respect among the groups.

“I’m blessed to have come to a (prison) yard like this where they hold events (such as) this,” said inmate Michael Tupua, a Samoan and member of the Hawaiian/Pacific Islander dance group.

In addition to entertainment showcasing different cultures, tables were set up and manned by inmates who belong to the various groups such as Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Catholics, Rastafarians, Druid/Wiccan/Asatru Pagan, various Hispanic and Asian cultures, Native Americans and Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders.

Timothy Wayne Wilson sat at the back enjoying the entertainment – his toe tapped as he watched first a young rapper sing to the beat of various drums and then to Reupena and his group of dancers. Wilson participated last year at one of the booths, but came this year as an onlooker to see what he could learn. He said the day gives inmates the opportunity to become aware of the different cultures in prison.

“If I am aware of other cultures it helps me respect their beliefs,” he said.

Reupena said the event not only allows them to showcase their Pacific Islander cultures to others, but it serves as an introduction to those of that ancestry who might not know much about their roots.

“Our new generation that comes in, they don’t really know our language and customs,” he said.

It also serves to debunk some myths. Rastafarian Alten Sullivan, whose mother is a Southern Baptist and whose father is a Rastafarian from Jamaica, said some have come up to the table wanting to know about the “ganje” or marijuana. Not all Rastafarian groups smoke it, said Sullivan, who was wearing a hat and scarf in the red, yellow and green Rasta colors. His doesn’t.

“And even the groups that do use it, that’s not the focus,” he said.

Alex Diaz, a Cherokee, was one of a few representatives at the Native American table. They showcased several items important to Native American cultures, such as prayer feathers, ceremonial rattles, totems, medicine bags and various medicines such as desert and White Mountain sage and pitch – many with intricate beading in tribal colors.

Diaz said events like this where different cultures and religions are allowed to have voices and opinions helps in getting along.

“I didn’t think there were that many cultures in this prison,” he said.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Suisun1April 03, 2014 - 7:52 am

    Looks like it would be a pretty valuable event not just for inmates, but for kids/teens in school where bullying is common. Everyday, we, myself included, needs to check the prejudices I have. All too often, we (un)willingly transfer our biases about other people to our kids and that's just not fair to them, or to our community's future. I do feel blessed to live among such a diverse and mutually respectful community in Suisun!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Fairfield mayor ready to share a whale of a tale

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1, 2 Comments

 
Nonagenarian recounts life as spy in World War II

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
 
2-day event will focus on bullying prevention

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Republican women to hear about immigration reform

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
 
Wolk to chair committee on state’s wine industry

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Kaiser offers Capoot scholarships

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

Suisun City police log: Feb. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: Feb. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

Llamas on the loose trends on Twitter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Two inured in hazmat explosion

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

No charges yet for train crash truck driver

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Not guilty plea for suspect in Hollywood exec murder

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
After 67 years of marriage, couple dies holding hands

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Missing 400-year-old Italian books found in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Sacramento man pressured to remove swastikas

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

Feds: 3 accused in Islamic State plot vocal about beliefs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Saudi man convicted of conspiracy in ’98 US embassy bombings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Panel: Use new meningitis vaccines only for outbreaks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
House GOP weighs new approach on Homeland Security

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Vandalism in Arizona shows the Internet’s vulnerability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Prosecutor: Mom craved attention, poisoned child with salt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Ukraine, rebels start pulling back heavy weapons in the east

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
‘Jihadi John’ raised in UK, studied computers, reports say

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in History: Feb. 27, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Feb. 27, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

 
I’m worried about how my wife’s erratic behavior is affecting our kids

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Feb. 27-March 5, 2015

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Custom dress Lupita Nyong’o wore at Oscars reported stolen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Conan O’Brien takes his show to Cuba for a special hour

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Smith, Robbie pour on the charm in sharp ‘Focus’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

ABC’s Sawyer does prime-time prison special

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Q&A: Writer-director-actor Mark Duplass is a busy guy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Actor Will Patton charged with DUI in native South Carolina

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
AP Exclusive: Redmayne lends voice to “Thomas & Friends”

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment Calendar: Feb. 27, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
Tea Leoni in a happy state as star of ‘Madam Secretary’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Graceland brings Elvis back to his Las Vegas home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Sports

LeBron scores 42, Cavs beat Warriors for 18th win in last 20

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
 
A’s begin baseball’s mandatory domestic violence training

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Earthquakes set to open new MLS stadium

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
IOC member, once critical of Rio, now sees ‘great progress’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Judge rules for Peterson, opening door for reinstatement

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Herman survives windy day; McIlroy stumbles at Honda Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Roberts, NBA writers open discussion over locker room access

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
IOC relaxes rule on athletes and sponsors during Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Nevada gambling regulators sign off on Olympic betting

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Video shows Hernandez dancing near gas pump before killing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Kings’ Collison to have surgery, re-evaluated in 3-6 weeks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
AP source: 49ers to bid to host college football title game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bulls say Rose to have surgery on Friday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

NASCAR back on track for extra day of testing in Atlanta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
No word on possible MLB discipline for Angels star Hamilton

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Giants closer Casilla hit on shin during batting practice

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
LeBron not happy colleges recruiting 10-year-old son

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Business

Volkswagen Jetta is a pleasure to live with, not just to gawk at

By Washington Post | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
5 things to know about ‘net neutrality’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Regulators approve tougher rules for Internet providers

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Strong reliability scores should help Buick brand’s rebirth

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Nissan executive known as ‘father of the Z’ dies at 105

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Google looks for more revenue from ads in Android app store

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Walmart CEO wading through mounting issues

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Pew study: Americans still stressed despite improved economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Facebook allows users to ‘fill in’ gender option

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

 
Medical marijuana passes tough first hurdle in Utah

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Applications for US jobless aid rise to 313,000

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
.

Obituaries

Donald Grimm

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9