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The Art of Hula & Fine Cooking


June 21st, 2011

You may be wondering about my floral table spread dilemma. Well, wonder no more for I have new for you! One of the florists I had hoped to work with has a last minute out-of-town wedding which disabled us from communicating any kind of table spread idea. The second florist has yet to return my phone call, and I hear that it is standard etiquette in Maui that they wait one week before returning a call. All this to say, I was left beside myself as Father’s Day rolled around.

On Father’s Day, I settled with a fallen palm tree leaf, decorative candles, and 2 ripe papayas (from the store). I was not about to go disturb the balance of nature here in Hawaii, and I definitely did not wish to be the cause of some natural disaster. The dinner went smooth, and we all enjoyed each other’s company. After all, that is what Father’s Day is all about, enjoying the memories of Fatherhood. The dessert portion of the meal, on the other hand, is a different story…

Today’s big adventure includes a hula class. This class is taught by a native of the Hawaiian Islands, a gal by the name of Kathy Ralen. Her family has been teaching Hula for over 4 generations! “Kamu” is the Hawaiian word for “Teacher,” so Kathy is known as Kamu Hula.

Hand gestures are a crucial part in Hula. I was worried about the foot and hip movements, until I learned that the hands and wrist motions are vital! Now, not only must  I coordinate my feet and hips, I have to also be paying attention to what my hands and wrists are doing! Talk about adventure!

While learning the elements of the art of Hula, I realized that the Hawaiian culture is not the stereotype of “hang loose” and “relax, man.” It is much more than that. It is a culture of respect for all living things, and paying attention to the fine detail that surrounds us all. Those little hand movements signify so much more than what meets the eye, and I am determined to find that small meaning in everything Hawaiian including the art of Hawaiian cooking.

A Hui Ho

(until the next blog! OR technically in Hawaiian –until we meet again!)

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