Friday, January 21, 2011

Greetings from Hawaii

Aloha everyone. These last two days have been very exciting and Educational. Yesterday (Thursday) I went to the Polynesian Cultural Centre. It was simply amazing. We took the bus which was part of the tour package and we left from Waikiki. It was a 75 minute bus ride. The guide on the bus was our guide for the whole experience. He was from Samoa. At the Cultural Centre their were different themed villages based on the islands in the South Pacific. These islands were: Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Tahiti. Hawaii was also included. During the tour the guide (Billy) took us round to the different themed villages. The people who were in the villages were from the countries. Each representative gave a talk and then played some music, got the audience to join in and make fire with sticks. Fiji focused on getting us to tap a fairly large stick on the ground keeping in time with the singer and ukalele players. It was fun. The Hawaiian village people taught us this dance, the Tongan village people played the drums and got the three members to join in. The Samoan village person demonstrated climbing up a coconut tree, stripping the bark off it and opening it neatly then shredding the main part into pieces. He also did some fire walking.

That night we had a buffet dinner and show. The dinner had island style food and yes a full sized pig came out of the ground. I did have some of him but during the night I mainly stuck to salad and vegetables. There was entertainment through dinner. Lots of different culture groups performing-singing and dancing. After dinner we went to a show called Breath of life. This show focused on a child's journey visiting the islands/cultures etc. It was cleverly done. The show was one and a half hours long. The costumes and music were simply amazing. The strangest thing that I noticed were that the New Zealand Maori performers were not wearing flax skirts, they wore skirts made out of material. I wonder whether this maybe due to customs this end not allowing flax into the country, however the Tongan team had their outfits made of flax or something very similar.

Overall it was a great day. We were given a real flower lei at dinner time which made the day very authentic.

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