“Come Together, Share the Wonder” was the theme of World Exploration
2002, the Alakai JayCees’ annual HPU student presentation of
multicultural dance at Ala Moana Shopping Center Nov. 17 that
took audiences on a 60-minute journey from India through Southeast
Asia to Latin America and back to Hawai‘i.
The Indian Students Association at HPU performed two unique
traditional dances, Dandiya and Bhangra, with sticks and vibrant
motion that celebrated the simple but joyful pleasures of life
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Next stop was Latin America, with the Latino Unidos (United
Latins Club) at HPU performing the merengue, a type of music
that has its origins in the Dominican Republic. A form of expression
derived from the early days of slaves in this Caribbean island,
the strong beat and complex rhythms suggest the emotional and
historical complexity of Latin American culture.
Then it was back to Southeast Asia to explore the culture of
Thailand. The Thai Student Association at HPU performed the
Esan folk dance from the northeastern part of their country.
Called “Serng Ponglang,” the dance reflected the fun-loving
nature and colorful life-style of the people who live in the
Esan region of this fascinating country. Only four performers
presented the dance, but their splendid costumes and energetic
performance brought a resounding round of applause from audiences.
Hui Aloha ‘Aina Ua Kukalahale, the Hawaiian Club at HPU, was
the last to perform. They presented 15 minutes of traditional
dance, chant, and song the told, beautifully, stories of the
Hawaiian culture. The grand finale brought up all the performers,
volunteers, and committee members to the stage for another round
of applause to the music of “Different Colors/One People.”.
In its fourth year, the annual event showcases some of the cultures
at HPU and promotes cultural awareness in the community.