"We should not be defined by the smallness of our islands, but by the greatness of our oceans.We are the sea; we are the ocean. Oceania is us." -Epeli Hau’ofa
Mahalo to Tongan and Fijian anthropologist and writer Epeli Hau'ofa for his words of wisdom about who is defined by and who defines Oceania.
The Pacific Ocean is the largest in the world, and our peoples navigated it in its entirety, populating all the many islands our peoples call home. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the Seattle Aquarium, sharing about the sea life of Hawai'i's waters and our people's intrinsic relationship to ka moana.
We began the Hawai'i Weekend celebration with sharing our favorite mele 'auana at the Seattle Aquarium after-hours party and then moved into the weekend with storytelling and kamali'i (youth) hula workshops. Keiki shared of the meaning of the aloha spirit and how hula is not a representation of a story but rather that it is the story itself - your kino becomes the elemental vessel of Hawai'i. How special for us to have this opportunity to dance hula of home, share about home, and connect to our home, right here in our second home in the Pacific Northwest, right here in Seattle.
No matter where we are, we always keep one foot always on the sand.
Organizations we love