Vibrant colors and the fresh scent of tropical flowers greeted those who came to the Hawaii Club’s Spring Luau in the Duncan Ballroom on March 24 to experience lei making, traditional dances and flavorful food. Fresh pineapple adorned the populated tables, where students and community members alike watched in awe as Notre Dame students performed enthralling hula dances, comedy skits and dancing competitions.
Freshman Gail Fernandes admired how the club was “able to bring a bit of their tropical fun to Notre Dame” and said that though the dancing and the food were amazing, her favorite part was how “the lei, flower bouquet and tattoo station were all beautiful ways of incorporating the Hawaiian culture into the Notre Dame culture.”
Sharing the Hawaiian experience is also something that club member Karen Yamashita enjoyed. She detailed how teaching people to weave leis at the luau brought her back to childhood memories and said that in a way, the event brought her home. She felt this way not just because of all of the dancing and food, but because of the many friendly people who came that were all so welcoming towards the Hawaiian culture.
The luau came to a close after the last dance, when the performers all rushed on stage for a group picture and hug. With large smiles and laughter, they began to sing “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride” a serenade to the audience as they made their way out of the luau — still enchanted and grinning from their lively encounter with the Hawaiian culture.