Monday, March 29, 2010

The Merri Monarch Festival, A Real Hula Fest

The week after Easter on the Big Island of Hawaii marks one of our largest festivals on the island called the Merrie Monarch Festival. This is named in honor of King David Kalakaua,  who brought back the traditional dance of hula to his people during the victorian age and christian missionaries, who shunned this public display of skin and "sexy dancing".  King David was a pure believer of Hula as a beautiful form and primary means of communication and enjoyment. It is a large part of his people's heritage and should be shared by his people in all its forms.

This annual celebration spans an entire week marked with the main hula competition, the Merrie Monarch Parade, art exhibits, dance demonstrations, crafts fairs and everything Hawaiian.  People from all over the islands, the mainland, and many international countries come to the Big Island, just to see this event and share in the aloha of its people.  Every event is filled with travellers and admirers of the hula. Visitors come to enjoy the dance,  comraderie and  feel the (mana) spirit of this magical craft.

The main event is the Merrie Monarch dancing competition of the hula halau's ( hula dancing troups) coming from Hawaii and around the world that have been doing this competition since its inception.  It is an amazing venue to be in, with everyone tightly packed in shoulder to shoulder, intense lights and a loud boisterous crowd.  Music is typically played with amazing live bands, live chanting, celebrity performances and even group participation in many of the chants and lively sing-a-longs.

The entire audience is deadly silent at the start of each performance and captivated by the swaying, and hypnotic dances unfolding and in the end the entire auditorium stands at their feet, shouting cheers at the top of their lungs with teary eyed adjulation for each and every performance.

I'll be writing about some of these special moments and amazing events that happen during the week in upcoming posts. It truly will give you a better idea about why living here in the Big Island of Hawaii is special, including her people.

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Photo Hunt Challenge - Fresh

This weeks photo hunt challenge is Fresh.

Cattleya Orchids when they open like these beauties,  put out an amazing bloom.  Their frilly shapes, vivid colors, and large flowers give such dramatic appeal and demand instant recognition. What you may not know is that some of these also have an intoxicating smell that in the morning can really make an impact right when you walk into the room.

Just to see one like this in its glory is breathtaking!

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Photo Hunt: Three

Today’s photohunt theme is “Three”.

On a garden tour with my friend E up in Mountain View in East Hawaii and I spot this huge bromeliad that had a girth of over six feet, it was gigantic. The dark bromeliads in the back were a perfect foil for this triad photo and I just happened to find the right theme for the week at photohunt.

This is my first post with photohunt's weekly meme, all their themes are easy and really create an interesting mix of interpretations. Check out. for other views of this meme.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Imagination Lurks in the Water

Back into the warm pool at Ahalanui with camera in hand to capture interesting light, water and reflections from anything and anyone moving in the pond's warm water.   I love to experiment with my camera below the water and above the surface.

The images become surreal, all distorted and confusing...then unexpected experiments turn into colorful and exciting compositions into a new world.

Are you ready?    The water ballet is in session....

Polka dots and hands shooting daggers of light from above.

Theres's an eerie sensation that something scary is just lurking close by.

Body parts turn into patterns and graphic contortions swirling with the light.

Please be careful....there are children close by.

Ah this is too much fun.....

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Friday, March 12, 2010

A Sunset View in Keauhou, Hawaii

Touch the sky, look the sun straight in the eye and laugh."

Linda Ellerbee

The Sun is beginning its decent late in the day in West Hawaii at Keauhou bay and I have a moment to enjoy this rare chance to see this grand show since I live on the East side of Hawaii where I only get to see the sun rise.

It is a blessing to let these moments enter our daily lives and just sit, contemplate and view the last beautiful moments of the evening sky.

I can tell there is a real difference between the sunrise and the sunsets on this island, but both occasions are just as special to view.

Friday, March 5, 2010

No. 25

My response to the twenty five challenge from the four to interpret the word " nourishment " .

It has been a very dry four weeks and the rain had just started to softly drop down on the parched earth....I walked around my garden to see any progress and came upon a whole limb broken from one of my papaya trees along with some green papayas still on the branch.

I think one will make it and eventually ripen and the rest, I will still be able to gather and make a refreshing green papaya salad, a gift from my garden.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ahalanui, Oh Warm my Body with your Soothing Waters

Oh warm my soul at Ahalanui and refresh my body... your healing warm waters heal my spirit and the aches in my body.

Meanwhile, the air circulating through the coconut trees surrounds the pond, blowing soft and cool winds to my face, a perfect complement to the warm pool.

The wild and thrashing ocean waves crashing outside the barriers into the pool adds to the experience while all inside in this inner sanctuary easily relax, play and float in contemplation.

I love laying on my back and looking up at all the swaying coconut trees singing to me always, with some mornings grey haired tutus (grandmothers) gather together, holding hands and singing to themselves in joy.

I feel like I have discovered a secret, of old Hawaii and of a time and place that still exists.

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