The twelfth annual spring luau Mo'olelo ‘O Hawaii: Legends of a People offers Western students a glance inside Hawaiian culture and life. The event is May 17 at 5:30 p.m in the Viking Union Multipurpose Room.
The luau is hosted by Hui ‘O Hawaii, a club in the Ethnic Student Center.
Tickets for students are $12, for general public they are $17 and the night of the event they are $20 for both students and public. Students can buy their students at the Performing Arts Center box office, or online through its Web site.
“We will be having tradition Hawaiian food: Kalua pig, rice, chicken long rice, pineapple, poi, lomi lomi salmon, macaroni salad,” Cody Arashiro, co-coordinator of the luau, said. “We are also having Mallard make a special ice cream: coconut, macadamia nut, something tropical.”
The evening will encompass a wide variety of entertainment, especially dance.
“We have the Hawaii club members who are going to dancing to a couple of songs,” Arashiro said. “We have also invited another group, Hokulani Dance Studio. They are a Seattle based group that will be joining us.”
The dance will be a mix of traditional Hawaiian, Samoan, Tahitian, and Polynesian dance. Also, students will perform traditional Hawaiian music throughout the night.
“Then, for the first time ever this year we will be holding a concert after the Luau,” Arashiro said. “Born and Rayzed, a reggae and Hawaiian band will be playing.”
According to band member Conrad Lihilihi, the band has been together and performing for a little over two years. It kind of started from casual jam sessions and just kicking around the idea of starting a band. They all had friends who played different instruments for fun and everything seemed to fall into place on its own, almost by accident.
Lihilihi described the music as “a little bit of everything from R&B to rock to funk, even folk.”
Students who buy tickets to the luau can get into the concert for free. For students who want to attend the concert only, tickets are $3. The concert starts at 9:30 p.m.
“We had a lot of fun performing for Western at last year's luau so of course we couldn't pass on the opportunity to play again,” Lihilhi said. “Our bass player, Moku De Aguiar is a student at WWU.”
Arashiro said Born and Rayzed is gaining notoriety across Washington.
“They opened for the band Revolution at the University of Washington's Luau; they have been playing around Washington,” Arashiro said.
Students can check out the band at http://myspace.com/bornandrayzed.
The event is meant to be a relaxing, fun time, as well as providing students a platform to learn more about Hawaii, Arashiro said.
“We are very excited to have this opportunity to bring the Hawaiian culture and spirit to campus,” Arashiro said. “We also ship a lot of flowers, plants and goods from Hawaii in for the luau.”
According to Arashiro, the luau was popular when the Ethnic Student Center first started, but then it kind of died out. Twelve years ago one of the students from Hawaii brought back the Luau. One year they had it in Carver Gym because of its immense popularity.
“We are really hoping to sell out this year; we have started advertising early this year,” Arashiro said. “Two years ago the luau sold out. It is also Western Family Weekend so we hope to draw from that crowd.”
Approximately 30 people are part of the club; they include members born and raised in Hawaii, people who have a connection to Hawaii somehow, or people who have fallen in love with Hawaii and its culture.
“We have a crafts table that you be able to make your own lei,” Arashiro said. “We painted a backdrop when Hawaiian scenery for people to take pictures in front of, and they can also paint a frame.”
After the luau there will be a small gap to set up for the concert, but the club has an exciting opportunity during that time.
“After the actual luau we have to shuttle everyone out to set up for the concert,” Arashiro said. “Within that 30 minutes there is going to be a country store in the Viking Union lobby where people can purchase items from Hawaii.”
For Arashiro, dance is the most important part of the night.
“I absolutely love dancing hula; it is something dear to my heart,” Arashiro said. “Being able to share my culture and break the postcard image of Hawaii and share about the people who live there. ... The cool thing about this year's theme is that we are going to be sharing legends from different islands—legends are a big part of Hawaiian culture.”
The night is sure to be one of entrainment and great food for all interested students.
“I think people are ready to shed off their winter clothes and wear their skirts,” Arashiro said.