Hui O Hawaiʻi club hosts 67th annual Hōʻike event


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Aghriza Puspita Sari, Beaver's Digest Contributor

Oregon State University’s 67th annual Hōʻike event, hosted by the Hui O Hawaiʻi club, is going to be held this Saturday, April 16 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at LaSells Stewart Center.

Student admission costs $10 and general admission is $15.

Chara Kekona, the president of Hui O Hawaiʻi, and the host of the 67th annual Hōʻike hopes for those who may recognize the Hō‘ike event to know that the Hui O Hawai’i group at OSU is changing the name of the event from Lūʻau to Hōʻike.

“If you recognize our events from past years as lūʻau, I urge you to make the change to calling this event Hōʻike!” Kekona said. “The name change is incredibly important to us as this new name of the event is more representative of what this event really is.”

Michaella Manuel-Sagon, the hōʻike show coordinator, said that hōʻike is an important event for Hawaiian culture because it gives students who are from Hawaii the opportunity to showcase their culture through hula. Hula is an art form and a way of storytelling about the people who came before and to also honor places around the Hawaiian Islands.

Jalen Nishihara, the Hōʻike event coordinator, said that hula was her ancestors’ way of storytelling and passing knowledge onto future generations. According to Nishihara, not many people learn about this type of history in books, they only know Hawaii for the beautiful tropical destinations that they can visit.

The Hōʻike event will educate people about the history of hula throughout the years and include a dinner where event-goers can take food to go. The menu was inspired by a blend of local favorite recipes such as kalua pig and cabbage, mochiko chicken, spam, friend noodles and rice topped off with furikake (nori).

“Food plays a big role in our culture as well because of the diverse palette that we share with other cultures that came through the plantation days,” Nishihara said.

Manuel-Sagon also explained that during the event will deliver the key historical events that led up to the Hō’ike event. The show this year will be going through a historical timeline of how hula and Hawaii have evolved.

For example, hula kahiko, which is a traditional hula dance, was banned from being practiced when missionaries came to Hawaii. Hula was able to be performed again after the reign of David Kalakaua who lifted the ban of hula being practiced in public.

David Kalakaua is celebrated today at the Merrie Monarch Festival for helping Hawaiian people perpetuate their culture. Hula was able to evolve into modern hula ‘auana which involves more storytelling and the use of string instruments instead of drums.

According to Manuel-Sagon, this hō‘ike is going to be as original as a hō‘ike event in Hawaii. Normally, shows in Hawaii have a story about gods and goddesses or voyaging around the islands. But for the purpose of education—”I have decided to create a more educational story for people to learn a little bit of Hawaiian history,” Manuel-Sagon said.

“We hope to create a sense of belonging for our Hawaii community through our aloha and hope that our audience leaves with more knowledge about the history and culture of Hawaii,” Nishihara said. “Dancers that come from different backgrounds—-not everyone is from Hawaii—-yet they take the time out of their weekends to learn these dances.”

Kekona explained that the goal of this event is to share the culture and history of hula with the community at OSU. Hui O Hawaiʻi wants to celebrate the culture and rich history of Hawaii and how hula has been a part of it all. Kekona hopes everyone not only enjoys the show, but learns something they didn’t know before either.

“This event would not be possible without the support of OSU, our advisors, parents, volunteers, committees, teachers and dancers!” Nishihara said. “Everyone has put in a tremendous amount of hard work in preparation for the show, we are eager for everyone to come out and see us!”

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