Celebrating Polynesian culture, SOU club holds 23rd annual show

ASHLAND, Ore. —  Hosted by Southern Oregon University’s Hawai’i club, hundreds of people gathered to celebrate Polynesian culture at the 23rd Annual Lu’au and Ho’ike.

The theme this year is, “Ho’i hou i ka iwi kuamo’o,” or “return to the backbone.” Junior participant, Brooke Pitner said this year’s event focuses on knowing who you are and where you come from.

“These songs are meant to be pieces of us, where we grew up from,” Pitner said.

The event showcased traditional dances from all over Polynesia including Hawai’i, Fiji, New Zealand, and Samoa.

“A lot of the dances that were taught to us, they were all passed down from generation to generation and whatever was taught to me by my mentors or my parents or my aunt’s or uncles is what I used to teach them,” Masi Tunoa, senior at SOU, said.

Organizers said the event is a success every year and the show is just one way they can show who they are.

“It shows us that no matter where we are, we still have pieces of Hawai’i with us and pieces of Polynesia regardless of where we come from and regardless of where we go, we will always be bringing that with us.”

If you couldn’t make it this year, you can always enjoy the celebration next spring.

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