2013.7.30/投稿者：Xuan Truong Trinh
Xuan Truong Trinh
Hula: It’s Not Only about the Hip
Today, the Globalization Office hosted an introduction to Hawaiian hula and its usually overlooked meanings.
“There is a misperception I want to point out that people usually take hula dance as merely an entertainment form for tourists. Actually, the dance is historical, traditional, and is integral to Hawaiian culture,” explained Professor Yujin Yaguchi, who studies Hawaiian culture.
Professor Yaguchi (Second from left) is giving instructions on a Hula dance. Photo by author.
The audience got to learn about the imbedded meanings in each movement and various styles of chant for hula. For example, when the dancer brings her hands to her chest, then spreads them forward, holds her hands together, and brings them back to the heart, it symbolizes the appreciation of the heartfelt friendship or love between the dancers and the audience.
Also, explanations about the ornaments of a hula dancer’s outfit offered many interesting insights. Different types of lei (head ornaments made out of flowers, leaves, or nuts) contain different meanings and should be changed to fit the style of dance.
“I always love the practices, especially when our teacher explains the meanings of each movement. Also, for me, dancing hula is a way to feel happy,” said Watanabe, second year student, a member of the hula circle “Kawelina” of Todai.
So, next time you get to watch hula, you can understand more about the culture embodied within it.