Merrie Monarch

For some reason, this year I’m not into it as much as I was in the past. Maybe it’s the stress of the job right now or maybe I’ve just been away from Hawaiian for too long. But I found myself getting bored and falling asleep. Some seem so dramatic…like they’re putting on a musical or something. It’s turning into a Song Contest ho’ike practically.

While watching, I begin to realize how old I am too. I remember doing all that they’re doing…but gosh that was 10-15 years ago! I look at the faces now of the dancers and feel so old! However, it also gives me a bad itch to return to hula and start dancing again. I’d feel like an old fart though among all those younguns.

And though I love the melodies and rhythm of kahiko oli…at times I have to turn the sound down because of the awful slaughter of the Hawaiian language. It’s almost embarassing. It kinda reminds me of Peggy Hill teaching her version of Spanish. You kinda want to laugh…but it makes you cringe as well.

But besides all that, it is nice to see the excitement for the hula, hear all the cheering, seeing people stay for the whole show and show their appreciativeness for the dance. “Celebrating the hula,” as Kimo just said. In this time of war and chaos, it’s nice to see people focused in on something different. And this is something I noticed last year–wow, where did all these men dancers come from? Back in the day when I was a part of the competition, you’d have like 5 women halau and then 1 male halau…that seemed to be the ratio, 5:1. Now…wow it’s almost every other one is a male halau! Where did all these men come from? Why the big explosion? I have my theories, though not very PC. But it is nice to see. Different, at least.

I don’t know, maybe tomorrow’ll be more exciting. I don’t really care that much for the ‘auana…it seems too commercial to me, with all that fancy holoku, tons of make-up, hair plastered into place, high heels … I don’t know, I usually don’t like it as much as I do the kahiko. But we’ll see. I could be surprised.



  1. Mokihana Said:

    **at times I have to turn the sound down because of the awful slaughter to the Hawaiian language**

    Oh, I know what you mean. Even though I am not fluent in Hawaiian, I know enough to know when it’s being massacred. Guess I tend to be a purist, putting the the `okina and kahakô even though I have to use the “fake” ones. So when I hear “maile” pronounce “mailee”, for instance, it’s like fingernails on a blackboard!

    I bought Guave Graphics’ program and just love it, but it doesn’t work in email unless the person I’m sending to has the GG program too. But the bulletin that I’ve done for our Hawaiian church is another story: the program works great there! Works well in Word, too.

    I also prefer the more traditional ways of dress for hula `aunana… my mom sent me this PBS tape of a hula performance, real big deal… but I longed for the more traditional way of dressing. “Plastered hair, tons of make-up and high heels”… doesn’t do much for me, either.

    Thanks for the post.. I really enjoyed reading it.

  2. lia Said:

    Thanks, Mokihana! I remember using GG during college–I worked in the HIPLL department at U.H., and we had GG on the Macs there…I totally forgot about it! I know that Panther now has the ability to put in ‘okina and kahako, but I am finding it’s not working with most programs 😦 So maybe I’ll have to look at the GG program again.

    Yeah, hula has changed a lot…I remember seeing something on TV where they were saying “you can learn the ancient art of hula” and I looked up at the TV, and there were girls with the bikini tops and plastic grass skirts teaching “Lovely Hula Hands” to some people…yeah, real ancient. heh. But I guess at least it’s being shared to the world, and that was the whole purpose of hula, right? To share the stories, to tell of the past. And perhaps, hopefully, with that, will come an appreciation for the kahiko and past chants that told of the real stories. One can only hope 🙂

    Thanks for reading and sharing 🙂

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