Challenges of a Writer

So, I thought that I would avail myself of the amazing voice recognition technology which came pre-loaded on my Apple MacBook Pro. In my fantasy, I would sit back with a nice glass of wine and tell stories to my computer, which would provide me with a document file I could later edit into scintillating stories of my island home. It was a little more challenging than that, as evidenced by the selection I have quoted below.

The editing was so challenging, I ended up simply typing in the story. (You can get it now for only 99 cents!) But I have hopes that some day my laptop will be able to understand my storytelling. And, perhaps I will learn who is the Forest CEO!

   

Long long ago when the world was young the gods and goddesses still walked the earth among us a beautiful young woman named Nicola then in the Shores of Poona. Her name was lehua she had a sweetheart his name was bullshit no not bullshit old heat Live were had a face is round and shining as the moon up back as straight as the poly and Harris it tumbled down like a waterfall she was beautiful indeed okay headed back OPI had a chest brawl is a canoe Armes this is the tree branches Bath Street as Evening would draw near okay I would play his nose food for her enticed by the melody the pool go outside to join him romantic walks in the forest Wednesday another woman to note on here she was goddess of the volcano she made herself as beautiful as she could and approaching invited him to join her the only and neither Saunder Burger having eyes only for link cool and ears only for Lakewood voice I leave withdrew into the forest another day when I’ll be on label off were out walking I Approached him making herself even more beautiful Holy off that mortal creature in my anything you desire I am phone to leave for she is my bride my love could not live without her so if would do nothing for me to have anything else I want but she is all that I desire Nicholas Kelly skin down low anger Rage she stands here began to tremble just don’t forget about who’s the crap you leave behind coming to me what You refuse the love of losing atomic clocks began to flow towards or he’ll leave her behind and come to me and I shall see if you’ve a lot oh he I simply hopefully for most self but he is simply a health leave for all the tight as lava began around on his legs label up and held her of burning cake only help hire small spirits of the Forest CEO is in the mighty days gathered around week and sorrow over what was happening to the stencil couple thing new they could not withstand hello they could not contradict and get this I need to do something to save to gathered together thanks nothing Steven phone is turning arms in his leg stiff and body stiffened he looked up to leave well before was completely turned into a tree’s over there and his witty arm has he had his last of the first summit change is a beautiful blossom that he carried to this day

 

Cultural Appropriation and Halloween

Hula Girl Costume
No. Just. No.

Ok, Iʻm finally going to write it. I am NOT OK with the “hula-hula girl” costume.

“Halloween as a holiday has a history of being focused on inversion of power,” says professor Susan Scafidi of Fordham University. She is the author of Who Owns Culture: Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law. “It’s about turning the daily world on its head.” People dress up as celebrities, cops, politicians, and other powerful figures, and it’s funny! But when you dress up as a culture that you are currently oppressing, or have subjugated in the past, you’re not inverting anything, you’re just kicking them when they are down — or, as Scafidi says, “reinforcing current power structures in an offensive way.”

So, you realllllllly like hula, and you reallllllllly want to be a hula dancer for Halloween. Here is my suggestion. Learn something. This applies not only to hula dancers, but to any “ethnic” costume.

Let’s look at the word “costume.” Generally speaking, a costume is what you put on when you pretend to be someone or something other than who or what you are. When I dance hula, I am not in a costume. I am wearing regalia.

Image by Kaleo Wheeler
“Hula is like a breath of life exquisitely embodied and expressed in patterns of movement and sound.” Image by Kaleo Wheeler.

Regalia” is special attire you wear for a specific purpose. Hula comes from a sacred source. Hula regalia, like the regalia of a minister or priest, is not used for common, everyday things. It is reserved for special, even sacred, occasions.

A generic costume, based on stereotypes of ethnicity, is inappropriate. The “Hulahula Girl,” the “Drunken Irishman,” the “China Doll,” all portray people from the viewpoint of the top of the power structure.

Instead, opportunities for learning and growth can come when a person finds an exemplary individual and chooses to portray that person. Take Back Halloween! is a wonderful website with great suggestions!

In short: Halloween (All Hallows Eve) is the eve (evening before) All Hallows Day (aka All Saints Day). Many old traditional calendars (the Hawaiian and Jewish among them) begin the new day at dusk, not midnight. We still remember this tradition in the celebration of Christmas Eve and Halloween.

Many years ago Halloween, Samhain, and Calan Gaeaf, were conflated. In earlier times, people dressed as Aos Sí (later deemed demons, goblins, etc. by the Christian church), and went about from dusk collecting offerings. The offerings were given in hopes of a safe passage through the dangers of winter. After the conflation, the costumes began to evolve.

Up into the early 20th Century, ghoulish and generally creepy costumes were the norm. Soon, in the US, costumes included Indians, Gypsies, and other marginalized people who were demonized by the dominant culture. By the mid-20th Century, costumes started including cartoon characters from the new-fangled TV shows.

Today, Halloween costumes are pretty much “anything goes.” But we CAN improve public discourse and dialog through our costumes, and still have fun!

Have a happy and safe All Hallows Eve!
Kumu Leilehua

 

Welcome to the new Kaʻahele Hawaiʻi format!

Aloha kākou!

Welcome to the new format for the oldest continuously published Native Hawaiian website on the internet! We are editing and updating our hundreds of pages, so it will take a while, but we look forward to being optimized for all of the new gadgets out there so that we can bring you our favorite stories, articles, and information!