Sunday, March 29, 2009

Culture Night 2009 - Highlights from Ben Boyle on Vimeo.

Hawaiian Club Culture Night Performance 2009 from Ben Boyle on Vimeo.

Last weekend, BYUH held its annual culture night and this time I participated. After seeing the presentations last Winter, I decided I didn't want to miss out again. I danced with the Hawaiian Club and the Tahitian Club this year, and had an incredible time not only on stage, but also in rehearsals.

Culture Night is an event held every Winter semester that allows each of the cultural clubs on campus to perform a number that represents their country. There were traditional dances from over 20 countries this year, and it was quite the spectacle to see! The Kiwi club (from New Zealand) performed a haka, the Chinese club put on a brief "fashion show" displaying beautiful clothing from across their country, and others like the swing club contributed spirited dance numbers to the evening. My good friend Ben took video of the performances, and compiled a brief compilation (above) of his footage. Ben is also working on a documentary about the Hawaiian club this semester, and he was able to capture our entire performance (also above). Check out the videos to get a better sense of what culture Night is really all about!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

One Week

Last week the BYUH campus hosted "One week," seven days dedicated to fostering unity among classmates and cultures. Events throughout the week included a hunger banquet, an open mic night, and a concert by students and community members highlighting the theme "Soul, heart, and hands." A few new friends and I were able to perform a number for the concert, but watching the other performers was my favorite part of the evening by far. The Artimos concert included presentations from the Korean club, who played drums, to the Maori village who presented a traditional chant and song.

To crown the events of One week, a service day was organized. The response was overwhelming. A large number of students and faculty met in front of the McKay building and divided into groups on Saturday Morning. Each team was sent a different direction to help a member of the Laie community. The community members were selected based on need, but also on what they had done to help found the community itself. The team I joined went to the home of "Auntie" Gladys to wash windows and cut trees. Auntie Gladys' family has been in Laie for 10 generations, and she is the renowned historian for the area. I marveled that even though she is in her 80's she has a keen memory and was able to tell us in detail all about the building of Laie. It was a privilege to give back to a woman who had given so much to the place where I now reside. The service we did for Auntie Gladys as well as the many projects performed simultaneously yesterday, gave further meaning to what one week is all about. We were able to become one with the community by helping those who had helped us inadvertantly long ago. The spirit of service must have been in the air because when I went to the landfill to drop off the tree clippings we had collected, the man in line behind us got out of his truck (in the rain) and started helping us unload. Maybe he just wanted to move through the line faster, but whatever the case was, he cheerfully offered his assistance as though he were a part of the BYUH service brigade himself. The opportunities to strengthen unity among community members and students have helped me understand what "Aloha" means, as well as "Ohana." In essence, the words have come to mean unity to me.

Sister Wheelright (wife of BYUH President Steven Wheelright), worked along side us all morning. I was impressed to see that she was willing to get out and serve the community with the students. This week was a fantastic way to grow closer to everyone around me through meaningful service and sharing of culture.

To watch the @rtimos concert visit

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In the wee, small hours of the morning

For some time now I have meant to make a note about the rare and quiet hours of the early morning that seem to shape the remainder of my day. Something about getting up before the sun and witnessing the start of a new day does something to you. Something good. There is an inexplicable calm that belongs to those who roll out of bed and saturate themselves in a sunrise. I realize that the thought of rising at 5am is nauseating to some, and that my previous phrases are laughable. For many, my affection for the dawn has the same meaning as a sonnet on the ears of a recently heartbroken adolescent; inflated and utterly false. For me, however, the "wee, small hours of the morning," when spent well, always have a way of getting me off on the right foot. Now before I paint myself a an early-rising morning person, I must clarify that I have not yet mastered the art of getting up early every day. I try as hard as I can to repeat the invigorating habit, but I still sleep through my alarm, and often justify a "few more minutes"(aka hours) of rest. On days when I have responded to the 5am call of my alarm clock I've never regretted it. If you haven't tried getting up early on purpose for a while, give it a go and just see if the rest of your day isn't better for it.