MARI GRAHAM / KAUAI HIGH SCHOOL
Representatives of Kauai High's Spanish Club, Japanese Club, the soccer players who went to Europe, and Kauai Performing Arts Company (KPAC) come together in the school courtyard to celebrate Hawaii's melting pot.
Aqui se habla japones
The Spanish, Japanese and Hawaiian clubs broaden cultural horizons
Languages carry the stories and traditions of past generations into the future. At Kauai High School there are three language clubs: Japanese Club, Spanish Club and Hawaiian Club.
Kauai High School
Mari Graham and Kelsie Nakamura
3577 Lala Road
Lihue, HI 96766
Linda L.T. Smith
Red and white
To help promote awareness of the Japanese culture, there is the Japanese Club, advised by sensei Chie Tanaka Roessler. The Japanese Club puts on the annual school bon dance and helps out with the annual Matsuri Festival, a festival where traditional Japanese activities are shared with the community. The club is also planning manga and anime activities, a karate exhibition and a Japanese sports day.
President Aleishea Yamaoka says, "Japanese Club helps me to relive the experiences I had in Japan when I traveled there this past summer. My trip to Japan gave me the passion to strengthen the club's cultural experiences. I hope through the club, members will also learn to experience and appreciate Japan."
Another popular language club is the Spanish Club. This club helps students appreciate diversity and helps to broaden views about Spanish culture. Some of the activities the Spanish Club hosts are fundraisers that benefit the school, car washes and fiestas.
Both advisers, Melissa Hilson and Diane Miller, are fluent in Spanish and teach the language. The club's goals this year are to have an organization in which people speak Spanish, do community service and learn more about Spanish culture.
People call themselves Hawaiian just because they live in Hawaii, but to call yourself a Hawaiian, you should at least have some knowledge of the culture, language and ways of the pure Hawaiians. The purpose of Hui O Kuhiau is to promote interest in the Hawaiian language and culture and to teach the students to be dedicated, respectful and responsible. Hui O Kuhiau was chosen as the Hawaiian Club's name because Kauai High was built on Kuhiau Heiau.
COURTESY OF KAUAI HIGH SCHOOL
Kauai soccer player Tiffany Ikeda-Simao, left, joined 19 of her classmates in July in a game against the top-ranked Scottish team at the Gothia Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Kristi Celebrado, a student at Kauai High, has been dancing hula for nine years and turned professional at age 13. Hula is a big part of her life, and she enjoys it because "hula has a good meaning, and it's like telling a story without speaking."
Being in hula has taken her to Japan and shown her a different culture and lifestyle. She appreciates the Hawaiian culture and says, "It's a smart culture, and it's cool how they couldn't dance hula back in the day, and how it came back again." Celebrado wishes that more young people learned the culture of hula and performed it more.
Another cultural exchange involving Kauai High students took place in July when 20 students were invited to Fredrickshaven, Denmark, and Gothenburg, Sweden, to play in two well-known soccer tournaments: the Dana Cup, which is the top tournament in Denmark, and the Gothia Cup in Sweden. Kauai High students Auika Muragin, Darci Murata, Melissa Iida, Tiffany Ikeda-Simao, Lauren Riley, Aimee Palaroan, Skye Shimabukuro and Dayna Fujii traveled out of the country to play in a totally different environment.
Ikeda-Simao said, "Everything is different there and it was a good experience. It was also interesting to see how other people live."
Iida said, "Playing with teams from other countries helped me learn about their culture because they have a different style of play. We also went to a Swedish team's clubhouse and got to see how their club works."
This was not only a great soccer experience, but it also taught the Kauai players respect for a whole new culture.
At Kauai High cultural learning is a significant part of the academic environment. By participating in clubs and other extracurricular activities that support the learning of different cultures, students at Kauai High expand and explore the customs and beliefs of people and countries unlike their own.
Tiffany Blackstad, Mari Graham, Molly Hasegawa, Micah Mizukami and Meleho'ala Ng contributed to this report.
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Arts programs give students perspective
Kauai High School open doors to music, drawing, dance and photography
The study of art and music at Kauai High School gives students a window into different cultures.
Art teacher Susan Warren said, "In today's world we need to be more open and tolerant. Art, like music, is a way to be cultural. Appreciation of art as well as culture can last a lifetime."
Her students will be studying the history of art from ancient to contemporary times, in addition to learning about drawing and designing techniques using marker, pen and ink. Their art products will be displayed in the community at the Kilohana Clay Creatures show, Kauai Museum and Kauai High School's GLO Night.
Kevin Bulicz, photography and cinematography teacher, said there is a lot of culture in art and that different regions of the world have different types of art.
"If you see artwork from other countries, just maybe you'll like it, and maybe if you like that artwork, then you'll look into that kind of culture," Bulicz said.
The Kauai High School Chorus gives students many musical opportunities to get in touch with global cultures as well as cultures represented in the community. David Conrad is the music man at Kauai High School, and he makes a point of teaching songs from various cultures.
"Culture and music are the same thing. You can't really separate the two," Conrad said. His Kauai High Singers were invited to perform at the "Filipino Centennial Gala" at the Kauai Marriott Hotel on Aug. 19. Students accompanied the Kauai Centennial Filipino chorale in singing "Ako Ay Pilipino."
COURTESY OF KAUAI HIGH SCHOOL
Kauai Performing Arts Center students rehearse a dance number for the musical "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," performed last spring.
Conrad pointed out that the Spanish had an impact on Filipino language and music, and the Filipinos have had an impact on the language and music in Hawaii. He said the song they selected "brought out a message of pride in being Filipino."
Chorus students are now learning songs in Swahili, Spanish and German for their upcoming fall and winter concerts. According to first-year student Burton Olivier, "(Chorus) is fun. It's nice to learn about music and how it can apply to so many different cultures."
The Kauai Performing Arts Center is a shining example of students engaging in cultural activities through dance. Students in KPAC take dance classes during rehearsals for their shows; however, most take classes months in advance to prepare for auditions.
For the performance of "Guys and Dolls," students learned such technical dances as flamenco, tango and salsa. In the past, students have learned the waltz as well as many tap and jazz dance styles.
KPAC veteran Laura Nichols said, "(KPAC) has encouraged me to continue to study the Spanish language so I can study abroad during college."
Through classes in music, art and dance, students at Kauai High have had numerous opportunities to engage in cultural activities. As a result the students have become more aware, knowledgeable and respectful of the cultures present not only in Hawaii, but around the world.
Robert Fain, Mari Graham, Molly Hasegawa and Meleho'ala Ng contributed to this report.
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Where is the most exciting place you've been to, and what made it interesting?
"Bali, Indonesia, because it was a culture shock and it was fun!"
"Jamaica, because it was pretty."
Rene Young Ledcord
"Peru, because there were these cool musical cars."
"Canada, because I caught a super-big salmon."
"Kenya ... because it was really dangerous. People follow you on the road, and you can't go out after 7 p.m."
"Peru, because everything was cheap and Cheetos were only 20 cents."
"Costa Rica, because the waves were mean!"
"Spain, because of all the sweet/hot ladies."
"Tahiti, because the waves were good and I got barreled."