If ask people a question that which place has the most beautiful beach, sunshine and full of enthusiasm, I think most people will have the same answer, Hawaii. As we all know, Hawaii is the most famous holiday resort in the world, people who are from all over the world come here to enjoy the beautiful scenery, watch the hula dance and eat delicious food. However, people should also know the culture, which are the symbols of Hawaii, such as hula, chant and mele. If you’ve ever been to Hawaii or see some shows about it, you have undoubtedly enjoyed the exotic, hip-swaying dance called “hula.
” Beautiful island women and men “act out” the music through dance steps to tell stories, particularly their graceful arm movements. Hula was developed in the Hawaiian Islands by the Polynesians who originally settled there. When Captain Cook arrived in Hawaii in 1779, the Hawaiian people had been dancing hula for centuries. Hula was danced as part of a religious program in the old days. Then, when the missionaries arrived in the 1830’s, they convinced Queen Kaahumanu to prohibit hula because they thought hula was erotic. “It was described like this – “The natives would practice in the hot sun for days on end.
Drums pounded, gourds rattled, singers chanted, and hundreds of dancers wearing garlands of green leaves and flowers and dog-tooth anklets moved endlessly to and fro in lines, their brown skin glistening with sweat, with no sign of boredom or tiredness,” (Daws, 1968)” And hula was popular after King Kalakaua made it opened in the 1870’s. Today Hawaiian dance has an added political dimension in that knowledge and understanding of this cultural form are valued as an ingredient of ethnic identity (Adrienne Kaeppler 1993:234).
“Dance as part of a political construction, can be an aural and visual statement of distinctiveness – and in some cases divisiveness – and need not be associated with cultural understanding. More ethnic Hawaiians are beginning to appreciate and champion the importance of their heritage. More and more Hawaiians – male and female – are studying hula in order to become part of the ethnic movement. ” As I know, native Hawaiians know the importance of hula and treat it as their pride. The government also pays attention on hula and advertises the culture of hula.
Mele is perhaps the most important cultural symbol of the Hawaiians. “It is the way ancient Hawaiians prayed and passed on legends and lore, linking their prehistory with their present life. ” I still remember when I first heard the melody of Hawaii song; I can felt the enthusiasm of this island immediately. For example, “Mele Kalikimaka” is a Hawaiian themed Christmas song written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson, when I hear the lively music, I would be relaxed. “Everything because hula is the unique dance of the Hawaiian people.
Everything because despite the homogenizing influence of hula competition, which has brought only a limited range of the vast hula repertoire to the public’s attention over the past thirty-five years, hula encompasses many different styles and types of dances. But it says nothing because hula simply cannot be reduced to Hawaiian folk dance. It carries forward the social and natural history, the religious beliefs, the philosophy, the literature, and the scientific knowledge of the Hawaiian people.
”  I think hula carries a lot of things, such as the religious beliefs, the social and natural history of Hawaii, the literature and philosophy, and Hawaiians and hula are inextricably fused. In conclusion, hula is an indispensable part of Hawaii and also treated as an important culture of the world. For me, Hawaii is the place I will go someday, I am sure I will love Hawaii and it’s culture while enjoy the beautiful scenery and ebullient show. References: 1. The lyrics of “Mele Kalikimaka” by Robert Alex Anderson 2. A brief history of hula. Retrieved from http://library.
thinkquest. org/J0110077/hulahistory. htm 3. Torgersen, E. H. (June 2010). The social meanings of hula. University of Bergen. Retrieved from http://pacific. uib. no/people/Torgersen/The Social meanings of hula. pdf 4. Fellezs, K. (Spring 2007). Performing hawaiian. New York: Brooklyn College of the City University. Retrieved from http://depthome. brooklyn. cuny. edu/isam/NewsletS07/Fellezs. htm 5. Rowe, S. M. (2008). We dance for knowledge. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://muse. jhu. edu/journals/drj/summary/v040/40. 1. rowe. html