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February 2009

From the Editor...


Rochelle delaCruz

from the editor…

The Cure for Winter Doldrums

At the college where I teach, students (and teachers) always hit a wall right around now. It’s the second month of the new year (so the thrill is gone,) the middle of winter (cold, rain maybe even snow,) everybody’s sick (ya need a cough drop?) mid-quarter (only halfway?!)… the doldrums. February is always a challenge. But this year with the Inauguration still a warm memory, maybe we can bask for a while in the honeymoon phase. Steve Kajihiro’s recounting of his trek to the National Mall to be part of the momentous occasion captures the excitement! Who knows what the future will bring, but I can’t remember the last time I was this optimistic. Of course it will be a long, uphill haul, but Yes We Can? I think so! I hope so.

Another cause for excitement is the upcoming hula conference. Four years ago, I went with my hālau to Maui for a week of immersion in hula. (see www.northwesthawaiitimes.com August 2005) As an educator, I’ve been to many conferences but without hesitation, I will say that this one was the best, unparalleled in the breadth and depth of hula and Hawaiian culture. Organized by Kumu Hōkūlani Holt-Padilla of Maui, Kumu Leinā`ala Kalama Heine of O`ahu, and Kumu Pua Kanaka`ole Kanahele of Hawai`i Island, it is held once every four years, beginning in Hilo in 2001, then on Maui in 2005, and now on O`ahu in 2009. This is a must for any serious practitioner of hula.

Then by coincidence we received two letters last month calling for ways to commemorate the presence of Islanders in the Pacific Northwest: Bob’s letter inquiring about the location of the first surfing exhibition in Washington State and the possibility of erecting a plaque, and Stanley’s call for a monument in Olympia to celebrate Hawai`i’s people here in the Northwest. Ey, why not?

And finally, organizers of the Centennial of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exhibition (AYPE) are seeking information regarding contributions made by Pacific Islanders to the AYP Exhibition. Go to their story on p.7 and maybe you will have some of the information they’re looking for.

I think all this should be enough to get us through the February doldrums…watchutink? ~RdC

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