TCU students will get a sample of South Pacific culture in April with the Hui o Hawaii Club’s luau on Tuesday.
The first Hawaiian Luau is expected to include dance numbers from New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa and Tahiti, Joridan Sele, luau coordinator, said.
The menu will feature traditional Hawaiian cuisine, such as spicy ahi poke and lomi salmon as appetizers, chicken long rice, chicken katsu and kalua pork with cabbage as entrees, macaroni salad and steamed rice as side dishes and haupia and Hawaiian pineapple upside-down cake for dessert, Sele said.
“I think the point of all of this is to show the campus another facet of its student body, what we’re all about, where we came from,” Sele said.
The Hui o Hawaii Club is in its second year and has about 20 members, Sele said. While most are Hawaiian, not all members are of Hawaiian descent.
Sele, a senior general studies major from Oahu, Hawaii, said he hopes the event will reflect authentic Hawaiian culture and will show “what makes us different.”
Sele said Hiu o Hawaii, meaning ‘Team Hawaiian’ in the Hawaiian language, helps him deal with his homesickness while on the mainland.
Leahna Luke, the Tahitian dance choreographer, hopes the event will bring cultural awareness through “the spirit of aloha.”
“We all think of each other as a family here because we’re so far away,” she said. “We kind of lose touch with the culture back home, so it gives us a chance to bring it with us in Texas.”
Many of the dances will be taught “out of experience rather than from being there,” Sele said about the non-Hawaiian dances. These dances include numbers from New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa and Tahiti.
Luke said many Hawaiian grade schools have a yearly May Day celebration, which includes a different traditional Hawaiian dance or chant for each grade.
Luke said dance is a big part of Hawaiian culture, and that she uses the hula dance to relax. This dance will be performed as the Hawaiian dance and is a slower and more graceful dance, Luke said.
“Our biggest concern right now is making sure we have the numbers to put on stage,” Sele said.
Regarding the club members’ involvement, Sele said the biggest issue is commitment.
“I feel like we’re getting on the ball kind of late,” Sele said.
In addition to monthly meetings, the club hosts days to eat musubi, a traditional Hawaiian snack featuring rice and Spam wrapped in seaweed. Sele said the club hopes to open these events to the campus in the future.
The luau will take place in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m., and the show will begin at 7 p.m.
Tickets are $10 and will be sold outside the Mary Couts Burnett Library, at the BLUU and before the event at the door.