A few feet away were the aromas of Thailand. The tastes of
Thai food and sounds of Thailand filled the air. Students from
Thailand sold artifacts from home, played music, displayed the
beauty of their land, and danced away with the award for Best
Not far away, you could visit Korea and see photos of old Korean
life. Or, as you view the scenery of Norway, you could hear
the beat of modern Taiwanese music. And for the first time,
India and Hawai‘i became neighbors.
The exhibits were up all day, but the events started at about
11 in the morning. with a colorful parade that wound its way
through downtown. According to Matheson, it was an energetic
event and many community members came out to show their support.
Voyager Charter School even had pompoms to help cheer everyone
on. Students from Japan sang and danced in traditional robes,
taking home the award for Best Parade Participation.
However, the real fun didn’t start until about one in the afternoon
when President Wright and Vice President Ellis welcomed all
to HPU and the International Chorale and Vocal Ensemble kicked
off performances. Japan told a story of fishermen through dance,
Thailand did a medley of dances that welcomed us to Thailand.
French Polynesia graced the stage with their Tahitian beauty
and had the crowds full attention with a murmur or two of “I
love my school.” Taiwan displayed an ancient Buddhist dance
while Hawai’i performed one of the first dances ever choreographed
in Hawaiian history.
Voyager Charter elementary students performed a song in sign
language along with the Intercultural Day committee. Africa
invited us all to dance our hearts away with them on stage,
and Korea performed a melody on drums. Samoa, whose students
never fail to make the crowd laugh and watch in awe, performed
energetically enough to once again win the award for Best Performance.
Samoa also walked away with Best Overall Club, which is awarded
to the club who performed the best in exhibits, parade, and
According to Matheson, the performances “brought something
to the University that can’t really be experienced without a
day like this. The school and the public really benefit from
Between performances trivia games and a scavenger hunt were
played, andthe audience could win HPU gear. The English Language
Program held a bake sale throughout the day with proceeds going
to UNICEF, the United Nation’s Children Emergency Fund.
For communication graduate student Rich Broadwell the best
part of the day was “seeing all of the different cultures come
together for one day of unity, the university’s best day of
the year, representing all of HPU.”
As the rain washed out the crowd, Matheson said, “Everything
went very well, a lot of the countries came and gave a lot of
their enthusiasm and showed a lot of their culture; I think
overall it was an excellent day.”