One was instantly greeted by leis, island music and an aroma that made one’s mouth salivate while walking into the Fieldhouse Saturday, April 14. The Whitworth Hawaiian Club, also known as Na Pu’uwai of Hawai’i, presented their 42nd annual Lu’au with the theme “Do the Hula.”
The event combined both traditional foods and cultural entertainment which showcased the many talents of the club members.
Sophomore Joshua Beeksma introduced the festivities and emceed the event. He elaborated on the history and background of the various dances for the audience.
There were 12 dances performed including several kinds of hulas, a Tahitian number and a haka, which is an ancient war dance.
Another highlight was the solo performance by freshman Seneka Viernes.
Freshman Iris Chavez was impressed by the numerous dances.
“My favorite dance was the one that looked very hard to do with all the hip shaking,” Chavez said, referring to the Tahitian dance titled ‘Show Me Your Fa’arupu,’ which was choreographed by alum Keilah Fanene.
While all the performances were impressive, the Waikiki Hula was memorable. This specific hula, which refers to “a vibrant city that is next to the whispering sea and filled with the fragrance of seaweed,” featured several members of Whitworth faculty and staff including President Beck Taylor.
Among the other performers was freshman Jade Faletoi.
Faletoi originally joined the Hawaiian Club because she said all the islanders are in it. She was excited to be dancing in six of the 12 performances and was glad that the Hawaiian Club had the event because it helped to “showcase their culture.”
But, there was another thing Faletoi looked forward to even more.
“I’m most excited for the food,” Faletoi said. “It has been so long since I’ve had it.”
Sophomore Brittany Hoppe also enjoyed the food.
“The food was delicious and I really liked it,” Hoppe said. “I love trying food that’s different and not what I’m use to.”
The menu included poi, teriyaki beef and Haupia, a traditional Hawaiian dessert created with coconut milk and sugar.
During the entertainment, club president junior Sarah Sagarang spoke and thanked the many contributors and participants of the night’s festivities.
Whitworth’s Hawaiian Club began in 1970 and was founded by Hawaiian student Curt Kekuna. The club’s goal is to share Hawaiian culture with both the Whitworth and Spokane community and to build an “ohana,” or family, for the students from Hawaii.
Story by Natalie Moreno Staff Writer
Photography by Greg Moser
Contact Natalie Moreno at email@example.com.