The ISO comprises a Council of Countries that includes of
members of the International Student Association, the Career
Services Center, and Student Life. This year, HPU partnered
with the Fort Street Mall Business Improvement District. “We
had better marketing this year, so more people were able to
enjoy the event,” said Ann Newton, director of International
The mall was organized with cultural exhibits displaying native
artifacts, historical photos, and other cultural learning tools.
Lindsey Rowland, an HPU senior, walked around in awe, “soaking
up,” she said, everything the exhibits had to offer. “Every
year I look forward to Intercultural Day because I’m
from Ohio and there’s really no one there that has much
culture,” Rowland said. The exhibits allowed guests to
imaginarily enter different countries and experience their
At the Thai booth, onlookers watched a man carve a watermelon
into a decorative centerpiece,a work of art. Graduate student
Nite Prvangviriya, explained its significance as decorations
at weddings. “Loykatong,” she exclaimed. “Thank
God for food and water.”
Singapore has a lot of ridiculous fines,” laughed junior
Aaron Ley of the Malaysian Student Association. A picture poster
of random fines confirmed his notion. “The funniest one
is that you can get a $500 fine for chewing gum.”
David Burgsdorff, an HPU junior explained the German Student
Association exhibit by saying that in Germany, Austria, and
Switzerland people eat a lot of bread, chocolate, and candy,
while drinking lots of beer. Unfortunately they couldn’t
serve any of these.
The Vietnamese exhibit had framed displays of their currency
through different governments, wars, and colonial eras. Freshman
Linh Tran interactively taught viewers how to tie ribbons
into good luck and friendship trinkets.
Andin Joy showed pictures of Cameroon’s rich landscape
and its very active Mount Cameroon.
I think it is very important to show people all around the
world our values and customs,” said sophomore Sheila
The Samoan Club had a gorgeous display of a traditional home
setting. To enter, guests were encouraged to remove their
shoes before stepping on the mats. Inside was a television
performing traditional dance. The Samoans chanted, “Uso!” which
means brother, not to be mistaken for “Ufa,” which
will not be explained. Tables were complete with customary
artifacts. Senior Tali Satele excitingly described their significance.
The Chinese Student Association taught onlookers how to play
Chinese chess, while the Japanese Student Association taught
people how to play a traditional game with drums.
A little after noon, dressed from head-to-toe in customary
attire, chanting and singing, while waving their flags, students
marched through downtown Honolulu. After the parade, each
country performed on stage. Special guests Na Keiki ‘O Manana,
a children’s choral group from Manana Elementary school
sang, each student wearing his or her native dress.
Attention-grabbing crowd pleasers were the Japanese modern
dance, the Samoan’s dance and high energy, and a unique
performance by Latinos Unidos.
Jerome Ramos of Latinos Unidos said, “There’s a
huge Latin community at our school, believe it or not, but
no one really knows it. Our organization has decided to create
unity through dance.”
Jane Thomas, visiting O‘ahu from Denver, Colo. with her
sons Jacob and Tyler, described her experience at Intercultural
Day as phenomenal. “This was a culturally invigorating
experience. I’m so glad I was able to experience it.”