The Hawaiian community of Southern California gathered during the Ho’olaulea at Alondra Park on July 20th, 2019, in solidarity with Hawaiians fighting to preserve Mauna Kea. The demonstration began with sign waving on the street before a procession into the festival for prayer and a moment of silence.
Last November I traveled to Auckland to attend the 2018 Pacific Heritage Arts Fono. What a privilege it was to learn from master artists! So many lessons. I’ve been unpacking those lessons ever since.
The word I kept returning to was relationship. Pacific cultures are community centered, unlike our individualistically driven American culture. Creating art can be so vulnerable, sometimes it’s easier to create from a vacuum, insulated from others.
There was unquestionable value in learning tangible skills from the master artists. But for me, even more valuable was the time spent listening, hearing the stories of others, their struggles and triumphs.
I got the chance to watch the welcoming of Hikianalia, a traditional Polynesian va’a (canoe) when she arrived in San Diego.
This was meant to be a different kind of video but I had an experience. It was magic; I could have stayed on Hikianalia for hours. 🙂 Have you ever had an experience like that? I’d love to hear about in the comments!
The power of PIFA San Diego is in the cultural villages! Experiencing the peoples of Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia at one massive festival has made a positive impact on my own life. It can do the same for yours – come join us next year!