Rota’s trademark friendliness was celebrated in the last two weeks of August when the island, led by Mayor Efraim Atalig, commemorated Aluf Luta Week or Rota Wave Week.
It marks the third year that the CNMI’s southernmost island celebrated the event to recognize hand waving and its role in Rota’s culture as a tradition that signifies peace, friendliness, and respect.
Aluf Luta Week was held from Aug. 21 to Aug. 31.
“The reason why we started Aluf Luta is to make sure that this unique way of greeting people, or welcoming visitors to our island doesn’t [end]. It is a special tradition for the island, which is one of the reasons Rota is known as ‘The Friendly Island,’” said Atalig.
Under his leadership, Atalig’s staff and other government agencies coordinated 10 days of competitions, including a signboard and song-writing competitions with the theme “Aluf Luta” or the “Rota Wave.” The celebration ended with a roadside waving at Teteto Beach last Aug. 31, where Atalig and his staff, government agencies, and students gathered to share the island’s welcoming spirit.
The signboard competition saw Rota’s National Honor Society/Division of Youth Services win first place. The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and Department of Lands and Natural Resources came in second and third, respectively. In the songwriting competition Abriette Manglona took first place.