Cultural Experience

Describe a cultural experience you have had and how it impacted you. This could be through travel, class, relationships, etc. What we came up with so far.  She has been to St Thomas, Hawaii (we go every year – like our 2nd home) Florida, North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, and have a summer house in Wisconsin on a lake. At age 7, I had the opportunity to emerge myself for a 10-day long experience in the Polynesian culture in Maui and Oahu Hawaii. While at the hotel and on the beach, I learned a Hulu dance and the sacred traditions of the Polynesian people. My family and I attended a luau where we got to dress, eat, and emerge us into the Hawaiian family. The people of the luau took us through Hawaiian history by song and dance. The whole trip, we learned bits and pieces that I know to this day. My favorite thing I have learned is “You’re on Maui time.” This was to emphasize that the people of Hawaii go with the flow and almost live separate from the world. The natural beauty of Hawaii is understood as the works of Gods and Goddesses. Pele is the Goddess of the volcanic fire and legend has it that if you take a volcanic rock off the island, you are cursed with bad luck until you put it back.  In Hawaii not only did I learn about the Hawaiian Polynesian culture but also my own as an American. While visiting Oahu, my family and I went to see Ke awa lau o Puuloa, or better known as Pearl Harbor where I learned American history hands-on and in person. Keeping the culture of Hawaii in mind, in the bay of Pearl Harbor, there is a legend of protector sharks. These guardian sharks, Ka’ahupahau and her brother Kahiuka were cared for by families and in return aided fishermen. The sharks also protected the people of the bay by fighting the man-eating sharks from the island of Hawaii.   I have always been fascinated by volcanoes and the earth. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I have had while traveling with my parents. The island of Hawaii has a rich culture and vast history. No matter how many times a person goes, they can learn something new every time.

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