Join Us for the Sights and Sounds of “Mele Mei”

Springtime is here, and it’s bringing music to our ears.

This May, we’re participating in the second-annual “Mele Mei,” a month-long celebration of music and hula from Hawai`i.  Performances, held throughout Waikiki, will include musicians Amy Hanaiali`i Gilliom, John Cruz, Teresa Bright and many more.

The Hawai`i Convention Center will be hosting the Na Hoku Hanohano Music Festival, a series of awards presentations and workshops to honor and promote music made in Hawai`i.  The multi-day event kicks off May 5 with the Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony, and includes two music workshops on May 25 and 26.  The Festival wraps up with the 35th annual Na Hoku Hanohano Awards on May 27.  Tickets are available online.

The Center is also home to this year’s Waikiki International Hula Conference from May 11-13.  The Conference will feature 40 kumu hula, as well as 80 workshops and seminars that cover modern and ancient hula, chant, history, costume, lei-making, Hawaiian language, songs, music, and implement-making.  There will be 10 Ho`ike Hula shows, a vendor mall with Hawaiian-made products and crafts, and a closing concert.  Registration is limited and closes May 1.

Eager students participate in one of many hula workshops during the International Waikiki Hula Conference. Photo courtesy of International Waikiki Hula Conference.

Kuleana: To Exercise Your Authority and Carry Out Your Responsibility

Our HCC Hawaiian Value of this month is Kuleana.

As far as I can remember, my father used the phrase kuleana in the context of “it’s your job” or “that is your kuleana.”  Clearly it is about responsibility.

Considering my limited knowledge and appreciating knowing what I don’t know, I thought I would talk to Keli`i Wilson of the HTA as she is the person at HTA that has an in-depth knowledge of the language and the Hawaiian culture.

I asked Keli`i what the Hawaiian context was relative to kuleana, once again, in one word, responsibility, but, an interesting perspective was, to who is your kuleana, not what is your kuleana.  As she explained it to me, in the family structure, the eldest had a responsibility to the youngsters and the youngsters had a responsibility to the elders, it was a responsibility to…

When you think about that, we can better define what kuleana means and the “to” will shape the “what.”