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Sylvania Campus sees much ‘oli’oli (fun) in summer cultural luau
Photos and Story by Karen Kane
The Sylvania Campus community gathered as ohana (family) for the 15th Annual Summer Cultural Luau on July 9, where traditional kaukau (food), mele (music), hula (dancing) and the wearing of wildly colorful clothing took place. More than 382 faculty, staff and students enjoyed a menu of kalua pork, lau lau, lomi lomi salmon, and poi on a warm, sunny day on the lani (patio) of the Performing Arts Center. The event was organized by the Sylvania Traditions, Rituals and Fun Committee.
Performances were arranged by Deva Leinani Yamoshiro, board member and founder of the Vancouver-based Ke Kukui Foundation. They included the Wahine Band and a variety of halau (dancers) representing several Pacific Island cultures.
“We are blessed to have such a large Pacific Islander community in our region,” said Tina Napua Heber, executive assistant to the Sylvania Campus president and member of the TRF committee. “Their participation in the Luau is critical to making it an authentic event.”
Sylvania President Lisa Avery, just a few days on the job, was welcomed to campus with a lei made of fresh plumeria flowers shipped from Hawai’i just that morning. In Hawaiian culture, a lei is given to a person upon arrival or leaving, as a symbol of respect, or to honor them. Heber, a native of Hawai’i, presented the lei to Avery while Dave Stout, dean of English and World Languages, served at master of ceremonies for the event.
New at this year’s event was the addition of food composting station. Volunteers from the Environmental Center taught attendees how to compost and spoke about the benefits of composting and recycling. The E-Center’s participation is part of an overall effort to increase individual participation in recycling and decrease the amount of waste generated on campus.