Aloha Festivals Part 3 – Hapa Haole Hula & Music Festival and Competition

Greetings of Aloha! This will be my last report in a series of three about the Aloha Festivals that took place during the weekend of September 12-13, 2008. We hope that you will remember that March is the Honolulu Festival and that September is the Aloha Festivals. Part 3 is about the Hapa Haole Hula & Music Festival that took place September 13th at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki from 10:00 am, during and after the Floral Parade. This was the sixth annual event.

So what is Hapa Haole Hula & Music? In the Hawaiian language “hapa” means “part” or “portion”. It is taken from the English word “half”. In the Hawaiian “pidgin” language, “hapa” has a meaning “of mixed descent”. And often “hapa haole” is a term used for “half white/Caucasian”. Hope that this mini course in Hawaiian Language 101 has helped you to understand a little bit more of the Hawaiian culture as we move on to the topic of Hapa Haole Hula and Music. These are songs and dance that focus on songs that have Hawaiian themes, the tune and styling are typically Hawaiian, but are written in English. The Festival takes place along with the Aloha Festivals and the competition takes place on October 10th. Exciting!

The Floral Parade ended at Kapiolani Park with the Honolulu Police Department’s officers conducting traffic on their bikes.

You’ll hit Kapiolani Park as you follow Kalakaua Avenue to the very end of Waikiki.

Here is a beautiful statue of Queen Kapiolani, wife of King Kalakaua.

And right in back of this area is where the crafts booths set up their tents for the 6th Annual Hapa Haole Hula & Music Festival and Competition.

The booths represented an array of authentic Hawaiian crafts.

The shave ice stands were a hit.

Local food booths…and healthy plate lunches. 

When we think of events at Kapiolani Park, we think of our Bandstand, perfect for performances and competitions.

A representative of Mayor Mufi Hanneman contributes $10,000 on behalf of the Honolulu City and County to the organizer of the event.

So let’s talk a little bit about the styles of hula, its form and purpose. Hula kahiko is the traditional form of hula. It is Hawaii’s oral history of the ancestors and genealogy passed down through chants. Chants tell the stories of creation, mythology, royalty, and other significant events and people. They are spiritual, religious and ceremonious.

Hula ‘auana began during the reign of King David Kalakaua. Modern hula arose from the adaptation of traditional hula ideas (dance and song) to Western influences. Hula ‘auana was danced for performances.

And then there’s Hapa Haole hula which is even more modern and heavily influenced by pop music and Hawaiian music. Hula is danced to songs like Blue Hawaii, Hanalei Moon and Waikiki.

So let the performances begin!

There are many groups that participate. I’d say there were about twelve groups in the first half.
Intermission, time to reenergize and nourish ourselves!

This is my Egyptian curry, delicious.

Performers wait in the back of the bandstand for their turn. Reflections of their colorful costumes in the water, neat.

The second half begins.

Solo performance by Kanoe Miller, former Miss Hawaii and entertainer nightly at Halekulani’s House Without a Key.

And the performances continue.

Group performs Hawaiian falsetto. Amazingly wonderful.

The lovely solo dancers, many are former winners of the Hapa Haole Hula & Music Competition.

The Hapa Haole Hula & Music Festival was very exciting to watch. So graceful. It made me feel like taking hula lessons again. I can understand why there are so many ladies and gentleman worldwide who learn hula. I hope that the hula participants of the Honolulu Festival will continue to practice throughout the year and come back to Hawaii to perform next March for the 15th Annual Honolulu Festival.
I hope you enjoyed our series on the Aloha Festivals. Look forward to hearing your comments! Aloha.

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