Huraiti Mana will be hosting multiple workshops and performing Ori Tahiti as a part of Rock the Lot - Island Edition. This is the second annual Rock the Lot event put on by The Outlet Collection in Auburn. This year's event is dedicated to raising funds for those affected by Madam Pele's power on Hawai'i island. Join us for a full day of festivities highlighting our Polynesian communities with music, food, and dance here in Auburn, and support our Polynesian communities back at home.
Sunday, July 15, 2018 | 11AM - 6PM
Other performances and vendors include my sister-in-law's Jessie's Fit Club(!), Arden Fujiwara, The Ohana Band, and many more! The full schedule will be coming out, soon!
Northwest Share in partnership with the Vedic Cultural Center held its first annual Festival of Compassion for Seattle's houseless population, providing free food and a line-up of high-energy performances including Huraiti Mana, Northwest Tap Connection, LQ Lion Dance, and many more. Everyone should have access to events such as these where we share in food, music, and dance, connecting with everyone that makes up our home. As someone who has travelled here from the islands and now calls Seattle home, I hope that this home can be shared - equally - by all. Mahalo nui loa to Northwest Share, Vedic Cultural Center, and Latha Sambamurti for your amazing work in our communities. Mahalo and mauruuru roa!
It was such a fun opportunity to share a brief snapshot of the life I've created for myself - a life full of passions and communities; a life full of laughter and shared stories. The Cool Job column of the Jobs Section focuses on folks in the greater Seattle area who have interesting and unique positions in the workforce. The Seattle Times kindly highlighted both online and in the Sunday paper the trade I've built for myself as a unique leader in Polynesian Dance. It's refreshing and enlightening to see this particular dance community recognized in a section of our society as something more than the token "cultural," "ethnic," or "diversity" piece. In addition to being itself a cultural work, a position as a Polynesian dance advocate and ha'api'i is recognized as a full-fledged career in this weekly Job section. With this article, I hope others realize that their artistic, cultural work, can be shared in a way to create a sustainable career, a career they truly love. That's fulfilling stuff!
Vicky Holt Tokamine, renowned Kumu Hula of Hālau Hula Pua Ali'i 'Ilima, in this short video inspires her students and communities to use their knowledge and skills of their culture to create their careers. She is a professor, a Kumu Hula, and a Hawaiian cultural advocate, sharing her mana'o or knowledge through many different avenues. She has inspired me to use my creativity and perseverance and continue as a cultural ambassador for my people. For so many generations, Hula and Ori Tahiti have been through turmoil: forbidden and taken from ancestors, then appropriated and bastardized by colonizing cultures, and now demanded for entertainment. But now, we reclaim it, and in reclaiming our dance and its heritage, use it for the benefit of our livelihood and connecting with those around us.
I am proud to serve the communities of which I am a part. And this is just the beginning. I will continue to find more ways to connect with the Polynesian and Pacific Islander communities of Seattle through dance, discussion, workshops, performances, and more. Imua e nā pōki'i!
Highline High School kindly invited Huraiti Mana back again, and this time, to celebrate the amazing achievements of the graduating seniors who are headed off to colleges across the nation in their formal College Day event! I am so proud of the staff that has put on such an important tradition for this school. Similar to Sports Day when many young athletes celebrate the professional sports teams they are joining, College Day is meant to celebrate students' next step toward pursuing their education - a feat just as momentous, daunting, and rewarding.. Shout out to the young student headed to Seattle University (my alma mater) and the two headed to Stanford! E ho'omaika'i nō! Congratulations!
Huraiti Mana was invited to participate in a multi-cultural showcase reflecting the diverse population of students (shout out to my islanders!). I performed "He Hawai'i Au," which is a song expressing the journey to finding and understanding oneself, something I hope that each of these many students come to understand as they embark on their own journeys of self discovery. That though the journey may be difficult, they can always look within and know who they are.
I kēia pō eia au me ʻoe
Kēia pō ua hoʻi mai au
He loa ka helena ma ke ala hele
E huli i wahi ma kēia ao
Maopopo a ua ʻike hoʻi
Ka home i loko o kuʻu puʻuwai
Ua hoʻi mai au, ke ʻike nei au
ʻAʻole au e ʻauana hou
Ke maopopo he Hawaiʻi au
Tonight I am here with you
Tonight, I have returned
Long was my journey on the path
To seek a place in this world
I now clearly see and understand
The home within my heart
I returned when I realized this
I will not wander again
For I understand, I am Hawaiian
My sister and I are the only of our Native Hawaiian family to attend a four-year university and earn a Bachelor's degree. For many of the students celebrated at this College Day event, they are the first in their families to attend college. But, we will not be the last. This opportunity not afforded to so many in our family and so many more in our island homes cannot be reserved for so few. Imua e nā pōkiʻi! We are here for you on this journey.
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