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Salient: Victoria University Students' Newspaper. Vol. 24, No. 11. 1961

• Cook Islands: the pleasant side

• Cook Islands: the pleasant side

How pleasing it was to escape the frosty morning-milk bottletram car atmosphere of Wellington. The proverbial friendship of the Cook Islands people was a reality to us. We were accepted into their homes and regarded as sons of the village. We could smile and speak to strangers, without being thought "fresh" or insulting.

How pleasing to feel oneself far away from the hypocrisy and clamour of international politics and to relax in a society where simple concerns still predominate. Occasional rumours and reports of civil war in the Congo and fighting in Algeria seemed so far away and almost unimportant. It is true that the unstimulating temper of life could rapidly develop into boredom but for three months, we found it a refreshing experience.

The picture of the Cook Islands which I have tried to describe is one of a society in a process of metamorphosis. Deep and disturbing changes are hiking place. What we would like to remember is not the disturbances and bewilderment of a changing people, for these we hope will pass in time. What we will remember will be the infectious charm of their life, which, we hope, will emerge in an even more beautiful form from the cocoon of change.