Lu’au offers escape to warmer climes

Anne Walkup, Staff writer

Although this spring’s incessant downpours might not have many people thinking about tropical weather, the approaching Linfield Lu’au offers a tropical island experience—minus the island.

Hosted by the Hawaiian club, this year will mark the 46th consecutive year of the event.

The Lu’au will be held on April 28 in the Rutschman Field House. The celebration will begin with dinner from 5:00-6:45 p.m., which will be followed by a performance at 7:30.

“During the performance, you can expect to see dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, Samoa, and Tonga as well as Tala doing the fire knife,” junior Shayna Barker said, who is co-chair of the Lu’au organization committee.

The performers are Linfield students who have been rehearsing for several months to learn and perfect their dances. Although the Hawaiian club hosts and organizes the Lu’au, all students—not just Hawaiian club members—have the opportunity to perform.

One of the dancers, sophomore Emi Kishi, said she and her friends decided to perform in the Lu’au because they thought it would offer them a fun experience to share together. “We thought it would be a good chance to make memories,” Kishi said.

Although she said the Lu’au preparation has been a great experience, it has also been a significant amount of work. Kishi said two rehearsals each week are required for each dance a performer is in. “I’m in two [dances] so I have four rehearsal every week,” Kishi said.

But it’s not just the performers who have been hard at work. Barker said she’s been working with other student committee chairs, student “kumus” (who are in charge of teaching the dances), and parents of students from Hawaii.

“They play a big role in making the Lu’au happen,” Barker said of the parents she’s been in contact with. “They gather donations from local companies back home [in Hawaii] and ship us all the flowers.”

Barker said this year’s Lu’au will be different from previous years, “We will be including the Portland nursing campus for the very first time, which we are very excited about.”

For some students, this will mark their first or last Lu’au at Linfield. Kishi, who attends a university in Japan, is currently studying abroad at Linfield and will only be on campus for the remainder of the semester.

“It’ll be a nice way to end my time here,” Kishi said. “I’ve never been [to a Lu’au] before, so I’m so excited!”