Starstruck in Tuntutuliak (viral video)

January 14th, 2011 by veronica

Veronica is reporting from Tuntutuliak, Alaska and never ever refers to herself in third person.

Right now, a mini basketball tournament between villages Tuntutuliak and Quinhagak is underway.  Tons of school kids come out to watch the games, and boy do these kids love getting their picture taken (and asking who my husband is – kids are great).  Anyway, while taking pictures of dozens of begging kids, I spotted a familiar face.

Perhaps you have seen the instantly viral video of a native village performing the Hallelujah Chorus.  That village is in fact Quinhagak and I have just met the nice young man who appears at the end of the video (the gentleman with long hair waving with the kids).  I then thoroughly embarrassed him by declaring, “you’re famous.”

“Unintentionally,” he demurred.

Guys, all you have to know about the adult volunteers out here is that they are VERY special.  Usually, if they do one thing, they do everything else, too.  Their hands are full playing chaperon, coach, teacher, tutor, etc…

This is one of the best videos I have seen in a long time.  Created by a fifth grade teacher, the video was originally meant to be a Christmas greeting to the district.  When I got it from my mom in an email and then posted it on Facebook it only had around 930 views.  It is now nearing a half-million views.  See why for yourself:

Posted in model citizens, video | 4 Comments »

Comments (4)

  1. [...] OH! and here’s one last picture of me enjoying my parka, this time in the Tundra Snow. [...]

  2. David says:

    Delightfully entertaining! Cute! Please clarify the significance for the students in terms of how they will benefit academically and intellectually from this. Was the production coordinated by the kids? If so, brilliant! If not, what part did they play? What lessons did they learn?


  3. veronica says:

    “Created by a fifth grade teacher, the video was originally meant to be a Christmas greeting to the district.”

    I am not the person to ask as I was not involved in the production, but I would consider it an extra-curricular activity.

    However, from the perspective of an educator (mine), I think it it is fantastic to see kids (teenagers!) spending hours doing something constructive with positive adult role models while also working as a team, engaging their community, and doing it all to music.

    It may have been an accident, but what a way to find out that you aren’t alone in the world!

  4. Colleen says:

    Ok, so let me get this straight…in order to put something on youtube it has to be “academic and intellectual”? Wow, what am I missing?

    I happen to be an employee of this school district(living in a neighboring village) where the video was filmed. We were thrilled that this was done as a Christmas greeting for the our area schools! Just in case you are wondering…We live and work in Rural Western Alaska(not on the road system). It takes special people to be teachers here; especially those that are here for a number of years. The teachers that use their own time to do something other than regular classwork are few and far between. Does it really matter who created the video? We are proud of everyone who participated, the students and the community of Quinhagak!

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