Hawai’i Club to share ‘aloha spirit’ at third annual Luau

The Hawai'i Club will be hosting their third annual Luau event Friday on Fountain Mall. Photo courtesy of the Hawai'i Club

By Ashlyn Beck | Staff Writer

Complete with Cha Community, Kona Ice and fire dancing, the Hawai’i Club’s third annual Luau will feature cultural themes of connection and “aloha spirit.”

Honoka’a, Hawaii, junior Sheilyn Subia is the internal vice president of the Hawai’i Club and said the main goal of Luau is to share the culture and community of Hawaii with Baylor.

“It’s such a joy for us to share about our community,” Subia said. “I think that’s kind of what Luau is about. We want Baylor students to know who we are and who the people of the islands are.”

Subia said the Hawai’i Club is expecting about 1,000 people at the event, which will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday on Fountain Mall.

“[It’s] open for everyone, and it’s free, and so we’re just so excited,” Subia said. “We have a lot of partnerships that have been really good in supporting us.”

Waipahu, Hawaii, senior Jhenaya Hampton is the president of the Hawai’i Club and said Luau will include many elements reflecting the culture and community of Hawaii. There will be fire dancers, traditional Hawaiian food, music and leis for those in attendance.

Subia said leis are significant in Hawaiian culture, and many wear them for graduations and other life milestones.

“It’s really a symbol like honor,” Subia said. “So when you give someone a lei, you’re honoring them for an achievement, and so [we’re] very excited to share that.”

According to Subia, a big aspect of Hawaiian culture is “aloha spirit,” which encompasses the love and hospitality of Hawaii locals.

“Aloha means love. It means hello and goodbye,” Hampton said. “It’s just a word that encapsulates a lot of communication, love, connection and relationship.”

The theme for this year’s Luau is “Mauka to Makai,” which means “from the mountains to the oceans.” According to Hampton, this saying refers to the idea that in Hawaii, everything is connected. The mountains and the ocean are united by the land, and similarly, there is a sense of love and connection with all the people in Hawaii.

“The water that comes to the mountains and goes into the ocean changes [along the way], so everything in Hawaii is connected in that way,” Hampton said. “It’s not even just in nature. People in Hawaii have strong connections.”

Both Subia and Hampton said they hope attendees take away some of the love present in Hawaiian culture.

“We’re hoping that people can learn at the event and become a bit more culturally aware and have a better understanding of Hawaiian culture, because I feel that if you don’t fully understand a culture, you can’t truly appreciate the beauty of [it] in its entirety,” Hampton said.

Hampton said doors will open at 6 p.m. and advised arriving early due to the limited amount of food.

“Hawaii is more than just a place. It’s really the people that make it home,” Subia said. “When [you] go to our islands, truly any island, you will find a piece of home.”