By Kathy Fong
Through the years our state has earned the reputation of being a “melting pot” of cultures and traditions. As a result, this mixing of cultures and traditions has resulted in a place like nowhere else in the world. We celebrate each other by the sharing of foods, dances, rituals, clothing styles, and music. We even have our own language – Pidgin – which has evolved from this mix!
Last month, Ka Pa‘alana’s families were able to dip their ladles into the world’s melting pot and tasted some very unique cultures and traditions.
Diwali Rangoli anyone? No, it’s not a pasta dish; it’s a folk art form from the country of India. Families used colored salts to create beautiful patterns and designs.
Tinikling is a fun folk dance from the Philip-pines. The keiki and adults were challenged to step in and out of two pretend bamboo poles being tapped together with the beat of the music.
In the writing center was Japanese calligraphy, in the cooking center children made Vaifala (a Samoan smoothie-like drink), and a lū‘au to celebrate the holidays took place in the dramatic play center with music from Hawai‘i and Micronesia.
We are truly so blessed to live in a place with such diversity, where skin tones of every shade are seen everyday and looked upon as beautiful, and where it’s totally normal to have kalbi and poi on the same plate. The world can surely learn a lot from us, and we need to continually remind our-selves and our children of the riches we gain when we appreciate each other’s cultures and traditions.