24.6.09

video

These kumu hula (hawaiian dance instructors) are dancing to a song that Mr As class sang at Waimea's May Day Festival. The song is about the beautiful plants in the ocean.


Kamehameha Day came and went without either pomp or circumstance. I was vastly disappointed.

In Thailand, people LOVE their monarchy. We have little yellow bracelets that say how much we love the king and every road has a larger than life photo of King & Queen. The Kings birthday was one of the largest events in a country known for fantastically huge events.

King Kamehameha was a chief from Kohala who set out and conquered/united all the islands. He began the whole "Hawaiian monarchy" thing. June 11 is his birthday and, as such, is Kamehameha Day in Hawaii.

Being that I live on the island he is from, I was expecting the Hilo Kamehameha Festival to be off the hook. I was thinking huge parade, statue covered head to toe in leis, hula halaus going nuts - fighting floor time to pay their respects. I got nothing even close to that.

I knew something was up when we got to Hilo and no one at the grocery store even knew where the festival was. One lady wasnt even sure if it was the right day or not. We drove around and finally found it, tucked away off the main road in a corner of the city that Im sure no one goes to unintentionally. The Hilo Kamehameha statue (a knock-off of the original statue in Kohala) on had like 5 leis on it! Boo!

Although there were some activities, it just didnt have that certain spark I have come to expect from a festival that celebrates monarchy. Luckily Im not Hawaiian so I avoid the ethnic guilt Im sure Mr A experienced from such a crappy turnout.

Sigh... Even though I was disappointed, I was still glad we went because I think its important to participate in/support these kinds of events. Maybe someday Kamehameha Day will be restored to its original glory with people flocking to Coconut Island to show the love for their king!

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