Hard work ensures Luau’s success

Sara Levering, Staff Writer

It is not surprising that Linfield’s Luau has the highest turnout for an on-campus event.

Angelia Saplan, ‘16, said, “Luau is like a season, almost like a sport. It takes a lot of planning.” Personally for Saplan, she lived in Hawaii for three years and her father was raised in Kona on the Big Island, so she feels connected to Hawaiian culture.

Ryan Ishihara, ‘16, added, “This is Hawaiian club’s opportunity to share with friends, family, and even professors about our culture and where we come from.” Students not from Hawaii are also invited to participate and learn about the culture. They work hard to perfect the dances to honor Hawaiian culture.

Some participants have attended other schools’ luaus’ and Saplan said it was not nearly as authentic as the one Linfield puts together. Ishihara agreed, and said “the luau we put together puts our spectators in a comfortable setting.”

Stacie Cuadro, ‘17, pointed out that Luau is an attractive event and it expresses the Hawaiian culture. “In a way, we are able to tell stories about our home and how much it means to us.”

Luau is not limited to traditional Hawaiian dances. Other Pacific cultures are represented as well.

Quinn Takashima, ‘16, said, “Something that brings me back every year is the passion I have for sharing Polynesian culture. I have made some of my best friends through the luau process.”

Shelby Cook, ‘19, explained, “It was a little intimidating to be a freshman at Luau practices, everyone seemed to have a strong bond with each other because of their prior experiences.”

Despite this, Cook says it was a welcoming community. “I am extremely happy I got involved. Luau has not only helped me make new friends, it has also allowed me to take part in something that is very critical to Hawaiian culture.”

Cook admits she hasn’t been around for a lot of the behind-the-scenes work. She acknowledges that Luau takes a lot of work to organize. “I don’t think I underestimated the amount of work that has to go into Luau because it’s not as if something this big could be pulled off with very little preparation.”

As far as the high turnout and popularity of Linfield’s Luau is concerned, it seems as though clubs and other organizations put together multiple events whereas Luau is a one-time event.

Luau attendees get an authentic Hawaiian meal and a performance. Most Linfield events are not so extensive. Luau has a huge reputation, publicized months in advance from both club members and previous attendees.

Since students spend months carefully planning Luau, it allows for a spectacular spread of an evening. If other clubs want to have more turnout than they currently do, they will have to make some changes and attempt to follow suit.

It may not be necessary to plan as intensely as Luau, but the same level of commitment could go a long way.