Tag Archives | culture diversity

Maui Matsuri 2014: A Festival You Don’t Want to Miss

Are you ready for the 14th Annual Maui Matsuri festival?

I don’t know about you, but I can hardly contain my excitement! I’ve already started working on a festival checklist, and the event is still a few weeks away!

  1. Charge camera phone for selfies & photo ops with Hello Kitty.
  2. Wear stretchy pants to accommodate food consumption.
  3. Go to the ATM for some spending money.
  4. Get pumped up & work up an appetite (refer back to “wear stretchy pants”).
  5. Bring reusable grocery bags for omiyage (gifts) & take-out food.
  6. Write a blog post about the festival. Check!

Maui Matsuri

“Matsuri” means “Japanese festival,” and the Maui Matsuri incorporates some of the most notable cultural exhibits, educational activities, entertainment and food in order to bring the community together to celebrate Japanese American history, heritage and culture on Maui. The event is produced for the public by a volunteer team, and admission is free.

The official theme of the festival is “kodomo no tame ni” or “for the sake of the children.” Each year, the popularity of Maui Matsuri grows, and there are thousands of people in attendance. Proceeds of the event go to the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui to support the work they do to preserve and perpetuate Japanese culture on Maui.

Maui Matsuri

The 2014 Maui Matsuri festivities will begin on Friday, May 2 for the kickoff event, featuring karaoke, taiko, kendama, obon odori (bon dance) practice, and more from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Queen Ka’ahumanu Mall center stage.

The festivities continue the following weekend on Friday, May 9 with a storytelling night from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College student center (Pilina Building) in Kahului, followed by the actual Maui Matsuri festival on Saturday, May 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the University of Hawaii – Maui College great lawn or courtyard.

This is the first year that Maui Matsuri is introducing the storytelling night on Friday, May 9, and it will feature fables and stories from Hawaii and Japan, including obake (ghost) stories. One of the performers for this event will be Maui’s own “Tita,” radio personality, actress and emcee, Kathy Collins.

Here is a sneak peak into this year’s festival on Saturday, May 10:

  • Onolicious grinds (delicious food). What can be better than being able to savor fresh and tasty poke bowls, bento, abalone, teriyaki, chow fun, poi mochi and shave ice conveniently in one place? You only have to walk a few steps to get to all of these amazing food booths instead of driving all over town.

Maui Matsuri

  • Contests gallore. Maui Matsuri will have the following contests: eating (natto and saimin), hanafuda/sakura (Japanese card game), Cosplay (costume), video-gaming, kendama, and Manga (Japanese comic cartoon or anime) and art drawing. If you are competitive at heart, want to have fun with your friends, or just love to people-watch as others compete for prizes and bragging rights, this part of the festival is definitely for you.
  • Live entertainment and demonstrations. From taiko (Japanese drumming) and karate demonstrations, to Japanese singers like Hikariyama Torao, A.K.A. Tevita Apina (who also just won the karaoke contest at Kawaii Kon, by the way… wow!) and the group Bento Rakugo from Oahu that specializes in magic shows and variety acts. Bento Rakugo also tells obake (ghost) stories and will be performing on Friday, May 9 for the storytelling night.

Maui Matsuri

  • Kodomo (kids) corner. If you are looking for fun for the entire family, this is the place to be! The kids will enjoy a variety of activities, while the adults join in the fun, snap a few pictures, or simply take a moment to savor their chow fun and poi mochi. Some of the activities at this year’s festival include: make your own hachimaki (Japanese headband), gyotaku (fish printing & painting), and Japanese food games such as a colorful dango (rice dumpling) stacking game and takoyaki flipping.
  • Cultural exhibits. Bonsai, Mokichi Okada Association (MOA) Sangetsu flower arranging, Maui Ki-Aikido martial arts, Consulate General of Japan, and the art of calligraphy are just some of the many exhibits you can visit at this year’s festival.
  • Craft booths. Buy local. Support local. Meet local artists, crafters and vendors, many of whom feature Made in Maui or Made in Hawaii products.
  • Obon odori or bon dance (Japanese group dancing). Kickoff the Maui obon season with obon odori on the great lawn. Follow along and join in the dancing dressed as you are. No kimono or happi (pronounced “hoppy”) coat? No problem! T-shirts and rubba slippas welcome.

Maui Matsuri

Arigato (thanks) for your support, and I look forward to seeing you at the festival! As the P.R., Marketing & Social Media Chair for Maui Matsuri, I’m sure you will see me there. Look for the gal running around, taking photos, and posting about the event with the rest of our social media team. The other members of our social media team include: Brian Nagami, Jody Yoshida, Sherman Peros, Yuki Lei Sugimura and Kay Fukumoto. If you know any of them, please feel free to say “hi” and stop them for a photo op!

The festival website is www.mauimatsuri.com, and the official hashtag for the event is #MauiMatsuri. There will be 2 Instagram contests this year, and the winners will receive free festival t-shirts, so be sure to like/follow Maui Matsuri on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to get all the contest announcements.

Kashiko (sincerely yours),

Traci Giordano Silva

Silva GangAbout the Guest Blogger: Traci Giordano Silva is a freelance designer & writer at Miso Creative; partner & marketing specialist at Fukumoto Engineering (FE); PR, marketing & social media chair for Soroptimist Maui & the Maui Matsuri; & blogger & creator of “Life on a Silva Platter,” a whimsical blog focused on finding humor in life’s quirks. She lives on Maui with her hubby Mike & their “kids” (pet cats & dogs). She blogs for fun, loves making new friends in the blogosphere, & enjoys giving back to the community. Blog: www.silvagang.com. Twitter & Instagram: @SilvaGang

 

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The Buy Back The Beach $5K Challenge

The other day I shared about Buy Back The Beach Benefit Luau 2012 on my previous post. I know most of us want to help in one way or another. I want to highlight one thing that I think all of us can easily do, and yet leave maximum impact. You don’t have to be on Maui to do this…

THE  BUY BACK THE BEACH $5,000 challenge!  If we raise $5,000 by the end of the day on January 28, a generous donor will match it. That mean $10,000 for the protection and preservation of the beaches of Hawaii.  How to do it? Easy – just click the button below and it’ll take you to the Paypal file where you can donate, safely.

Buy Back the Beach Benefit Lu‘au in Support of Hawaiian Islands Land Trust #BBTB2012

Old Lahaina Luau

 *  To all my friends active on social media, let me share something with you … we are on a challenge here too.  Maui is still relatively new when it comes to harnessing the power of social media to do social good. I am stoked that HILT is willing to give this a try by collaborating with us, some of the active social media users on Maui, to help them achieve this mission of protecting and preserving Maui Beaches.  Would you do me a favor and help us social media users on Maui show our community that there is social media is for social good?  Any amount will be appreciated.  You can also help by sharing of this post to you and encouraging them to give.  I promise I won’t inundate you with fundraising posts – it’s just that this  one is for Maui, and I am A Maui Blog.  Aloha!

* If you donated, please leave a comment saying you did so we can publicly thank you via our tweets and posts.  Mahalo!

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Wailuku First Friday – November 2011

Rain or shine – we’re gonna have a lot of fun!

Wailuku First Friday in November

Wailuku’s November First Friday will energize Market Street from 6:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday, November 4th; the free event is open to all. Market Street closes at 5:30 p.m.; ample parking is available off Main Street in the Maui Medical Group parking lot and throughout Wailuku Town. Headliner “Owaila” will rock the Maui Thing stage starting at 6:30 p.m. From the Hawaiian word for “who,” Owaila plays “modern rock for the energetic music lover.” This hot new band is comprised of familiar local talents Chad Kaya, Kanoa Kukaua, Ryan Rego and Tavi Tenari, and rips with its own island flavor of progressive rock. And also on the Maui a Thing stage are the teenage sensation Visibly Shaken who will also rock you away!

At 6:00 p.m. Gene Argel and ‘ohana will perform in front of Café O Lei, and Maui Rumba will bring its lively rhythms to the Wailuku Banyan Tree Park. Also performing will be Andy Kaina & Old School, with live music at Chris Hart & Partners parking lot on Vineyard Street.  New to Wailuku First Friday, but not new to live music mixing is Ben Brandes the DJ DUB performing at Main Street Promenade by Gionatto’s Pizzeria.  Grab a pizza, under the stars and enjoy the mixing!

Other highlights include:

•    Murder and mystery will haunt the Iao Theater at 8:30 p.m. with
silent movies, doors open at 6:30 pm. In the theater’s front lobby,
party-goers can fill out an HTA survey and receive a coupon for 20%
off a Chocolate Stout Latte at Wailuku Coffee Company.

•    At the “Pono- Do What is Right” store on Vineyard Street, a drawing
for a Thanksgiving turkey will be held; the lucky winner can choose
traditional or kalua preparation.

•    The Rinko Maui store’s grand opening at 51 Market Street will
feature moon cake sampling to celebrate longevity and happiness.

•    Artisans, crafters, sidewalk vendors and a rainbow of local cuisine
can all be enjoyed streetside along Market Street.

•    Keep your Body Alive with live Music @5pm, Art, and healthy treats
at Wailuku’s yoga studio. 7pm flag dance performance!, Main Street

•    In this month of thanksgiving, drop a Maui Food Bank donation at
Swan Interiors on Vineyard and Church Street.

•    Beer Garden: Na Leo Kako`o, benefiting Hawaiian Immersion Kula Kalapuni

•    Awa Bar, Hawaiian Food and Fresh Kulolo, Native Intelligence Store

•    Maui Bake Shop sweet and savory crepes and WFF specials, BYOB

•    Artisans, crafters, sidewalk vendors and a rainbow of local cuisine
can all be enjoyed streetside along Market Street.

Vendors, merchants and entertainers are reminded that Market Street closes at 5:30 p.m.  For the safety of all participants, everyone’s kokua is appreciated. Signs will be placed to remind the public that no cars will be allowed on Market Street during the event: Cars left parked on the street during the event will be ticketed. Maui Medical Group has graciously offered free parking during Wailuku First Friday at the facility’s lot, located near the Main/High Street intersection. The Vineyard Street parking exit will close at 9 p.m.; patrons can exit the lot onto Main Street after 9 p.m.

 

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Maui Participates in Blog Action Day 2011 – Food and Culture

One of my favorite events in my kids’ school back when they were in elementary school is the day they call “Culture Day”.  On that day, the children celebrate the culture of their ethnic backgrounds. It’s fun for them to trace what their ethnic backgrounds are and it’s very common to have a mixture of two or more cultures.  For example, my kids are half American (English & German), half Filipino.  They are known as Hapa kids (which in essence means half and half).  One feature of this Culture Day is potluck.  Kids will bring a dish that’s from their ethnic origin and share it with everyone. I love this! What a great way to connect the kids with their culture and keep the tradition going.

Like what I said, I love the Cultural Day Potluck. It’s like taking the trip all over the world!  Listed below are some food from various cultures that have been infused into Maui’s food culture. I thought it would be good to have a list here for those who are vsiting  on Maui and are curious about these ethnic food.
 
HAWAIIAN
Ahi: yellowfin tuna, mostly grilled but there are other ways to cook it too.
Laulau: pork, butterfish, beef or chicken wrapped in taro leaf and steamed in an imu (underground oven).
Haupia: coconut pudding, one of my favorites!
Long Rice: cellophane noodles made from mungbean flour; Cook with chicken, it’s my daughter’s favorite soup – the chicken long rice.
Poi: staple starch of the Hawaiian diet, made from boiled taro root, boiled and pounded. They feed this babies and kids a lot but adults love them too.
Poke: raw fish with seaweed and sesame oil. Variated is Tako poke which is made with (tako) octupus instead of fish.
Taro: a tuberous vegetable used to make poi

 FILIPINO
Adobo – pork or chicken in a vinegar and garlic sauce. Most Caucasians like this.
Pancit: egg or rice noodles ‘n stuff. There are a lot of variations – pancit canton, pancit bihon, pancit loglog, sotanghon, etc.
Lumpia: appetizer similar to spring roll. Some are fresh (like that on the photo) some are fried.  It can be made of vegetable or ground meet (lumpia shanghai) or banana (turon).
Pinakbet: okra, string beans, tomatoes, shrimp paste simmered with fish or pork. Oh so nutritious.

JAPANESE 
Edamame: whole boiled soybeans. Great healthy snack.
Maki-sushi: sushi items rolled up in seaweed
Furikake: a flavoring accent of seaweed, salt, sesame
Saimin: noodle soup. a lot of variation on this.
Sashimi: thin slices of very fresh salt water fish
Manju: sweet bean paste buns
Shumai: small steamed dumplings
Sashimi: thin slices of very fresh salt water fish
Tempura: vegetables, meat, or seafood quick-fried in light egg batter

KOREAN
Kim Chee: heavily seasoned pickled vegetables
Kal Bi: barbecued short ribs marinated in a shoyu and sesame blend

PORTUGUESE
Caldeirada: seafood stew
Caldo Verde: kale and potato soup
Feijao: beans

THAI
Satay: beef, pork, or chicken on skewers with peanut sauce
Tom Yum: spicy lemongrass soup with shrimp and meat

VIETNAMESE
Pho – beef noddle soup with sprouts, herbs, chilis and lime

The list above is not comprehensive at all.  Those are just the ones common on Maui that has somehow got integrated in Maui’s food culture.  There’s a lot more cultures wih fine cuisine to be represented, Italian, Mexican, Indian, French, an so on. Please feel free to dd some of your favorite ethnic food in the comment section below.

On this Blog Action Day 2011, I want to encourage everyone to keep on teaching our kids about culture and food.  With the busyness of our daily lives, it’s so tempting to feed our kids the fastfood kind of food. However, it must not be so.  Let us take time to nuture the culture and keep the cultural food tradition going.

 

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