Think About It: Merrie Moments, Indeed - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

April 13, 2015

Think About It: Merrie Moments, Indeed

I don't know if you've got a wish list or a bucket list of things you really would like to do or see before you leave this mortal coil, but you might consider attending at least one "Merrie Monarch Festival". The artistry, beauty, reverence, precision, and cultural relevance- all on display over three glorious nights. The friendliness and sharing of the people of Hilo. The crafts and foods of the local establishments. The low-key, old school comfort of the "Merrie Monarch" office itself, where you can simply stop in just to say "hi". The mist in the mountains and the chirping of the coqui frogs. The beauty of Hilo Harbor and the awe-inspiring coast drive to the north, south, or through the Saddle Road heading west.

Attending a "Merrie Monarch Festival" and allowing yourself to be imbued with everything that is going on during this week on Hawaii Island is truly memorable- for visitors, locals, dancers, and teachers. The "Merrie Monarch Festival" is not just about dancing or chanting; it's a full-body experience, if not an out-of-body experience for those lucky enough to perform on the stage. It is a deep celebration of culture like no other, because the whole world is watching, and the performers have paid their respects to understand their positions.

I get e-mails and calls annually from the mainland, Germany, France, and many other places, from people thrilled to catch even a glimpse of this spectacle online or on TV. You may not realize just how many Merrie Monarch enthusiasts and ex-patriates are touched by the amazing efforts of these understated, diligent dancers, kumu hula, musicians, judges, artisans, volunteers, organizers, officials, and technical wizards, but you may want to check it out one of these years as a way to become more grounded, centered, and focused on what it means to be of a place like Hawaii nei. Think about it…

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