Hawaii Club encourages all to ‘live aloha’ at its first luau

By Haley Burrow | Guest Contributor, Video by Kaity Kempf | Broadcast Reporter

As a way to promote the organization and its aloha spirit, the Baylor Hawaii Club will host its first campus-wide luau celebration from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday at Fountain Mall.

Honolulu junior and club president Brianna Tancinco said the group is excited to put on the event and spread the joyful Hawaiian culture.

“People should come out to the luau because it’s really a celebration of a culture and a place that’s hard not to love,” Tancinco said. “It’s hosted by an organization of people who love it because they ‘live aloha.’”

The luau will be a three-hour celebration of culture, food and festivities that Tancinco said the Hawaii Club hopes will entertain and inform the Baylor community. Mililani, Hawaii, sophomore and club treasurer Ian McCarty said the event is all about spreading Hawaiian culture and creating a night of communion.

“Hawaii is a big part of the aloha spirit — having a really big and open community — and we want to essentially create a community here at Baylor for people to come and learn a little bit more about Hawaii,” McCarty said.

Visitors of the luau can expect free, authentic Hawaiian food, traditional Hawaiian games and performances of song and dance, including a classic hula dance.

“We really wanted to give an authentic view of Hawaiian culture,” McCarty said. “I feel like there are a lot of stereotypes coming from the vacation industry and stuff like that. [We wanted] to have a large celebration that encompasses not only the Hawaiian idea of a luau, but the idea of a communal gathering.”

Bellaire sophomore and club member Rebekah Wong said the organization and the luau are open to everyone, whether they have connections to Hawaii or not.

“It is kind of different not being Hawaiian, but I also think it’s really cool learning about that kind of thing too,” Wong said. “They get to share [their culture] with me — someone who’s not from Hawaii — but they also get to relate about it and have unity over it. They’re so far from home; there’s probably nothing as close to it.”

McCarty said he hopes everyone at the luau gets to experience the Hawaiian culture, even in such a short time.

“We live on a small island, but really it’s a small world,” McCarty said. “You come and see people from different organizations or classes that you may not know are from Hawaii. You can see people’s heritage from being from Hawaii.”

McCarty said Hawaii is “a big intersection of so many cultures,” and he wants as many Baylor students to come out and experience this as possible.

“We’re lucky enough to have grown up in this culture, but to share it in this special way makes it so much more meaningful than keeping it for ourselves,” Tancinco said.