Hula in Germany
By Patricia Waiehu Hammond
When I was invited to Bavaria, Germany, to share hula and the aloha spirit, I was really shocked! As I prepared for the trip over this past year, I was instructed by my own Kumu Hula, Pomaikai Gaui, as well as Molokai’s own beloved and oldest living Kumu Hula, Anake Kauila Reyes, on what and how I was to share while abroad. After receiving their blessing and specific instructions, I embarked on a quest to learn hula auana (again) being that my past hula experience and passion was for hula kahiko.
Back in the 90s, I participated in the largest group to ever dance hula at the same time to the same song, “Waikiki.” I think there were around 2600 of us and we made the Guinness Book World Records that day! My hula sisters on Molokai will remember it well. But I was not prepared to share or teach. Now, I am back on that hula auana horse, and I must give my most mahalo to Val Dudoit Temahaga. Without her, I would have never been ready in only one year to make this pilgrimage. Joining her kupuna group at Home Pumehana was what enabled me to be here in Germany today. Mahalo Val, aloha wau ia oe!
So, today I visited the cathedral where I will hold my two-day workshop. This place was build in the year 855! Yes, before Christopher Columbus sailed to America. I feel so honored, humbled and privileged to dance here at this most ancient and sacred place and, represent Molokai and Hawaii nei and to make my kumu proud! This land and its people are so peaceful and loving. I see now why they asked me to come! They need a way to express the love that they feel for their aina and their people. It is amazing how quickly the pick the hula dance.
They have explained to me how so many people from Hawaii come to Europe and hold hula and Lomi Lomi workshops but they cannot afford to attend. They charge from $200-$400 for a one or two-day workshop. I was offered $2000, and was shocked to be offered money. After arriving I explained more about the culture to help them understand, and I have since denied the $2000 payment. Aloha is not for sale! I have traveled to the other side of the world to share my lifestyle and hula auana. This is aloha and I am proud to be here to teach them.
Aloha and Auf Wiedersehen!