Friday, November 6, 2009
Reflections on Kauai #3
Here's a photo of a fisherman casting his net. I saw this from the balcony of our room; he was right below us. I was so surprised to see that the fishermen use the "old ways" of fishing. I thought about how this little island has such a rich heritage and how hard they try to maintain that heritage.
Even the hula dancers surprised me. I suppose I was under the stereotyped impression of what their dancing would be like, and I was fortunately wrong. The hula is so graceful! It reminded me of ballet in its movements. And although I didn't know what each movement meant, I did know that there WAS meaning behind each one. I learned from one dancer that it takes many many years to become a master, or teacher. She had been dancing since age 7, and at about age 30, she still was not qualified to be a teacher. Again, that rich heritage.
And the music! I just fell in love with the unique rhythms of Hawaiian music. I bought 2 CD's while there. On the label of one, which is a compilation of the best throughout history, it talks about how Hawaiians need to celebrate their music because of its uniqueness. There is no music that is uniquely Connecticut's or uniquely Tennessee's. But Hawaii does have its own music. And that fact should be a source of pride.
So what does all this pride in heritage teach me? I guess it's that I need to be more aware of the rest of the world. Technology has brought us here, on the mainland, many advantages. And we are so quick to grasp for more, forgetting where we've come from. And forgetting that not everyone in the world lives as we do. Or has the same values that we do. It sounds trite, but now that I've experienced it, it has more meaning for me. It's opened my eyes so to speak. Sure, we see on TV and in movies about how others live around the world. But to be immersed in another culture and another environment is an awakening.
It awakes our spirits in recognizing that we are all connected, even though different. We truly are one, whether we recognize it or not. Whether we like it or not. Whether we embrace it or not.