So the second biggest attraction of Oahu is just up the street from where we live and it only took us almost 4 months to get over there. Thanks to my ever so totally awesome and amazing in-laws who gave us this early Christmas gift, we were able to fit a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center into our budget. Thank you!!
After weeks (months rather) of going from the studio to campus and back again we were pretty fired up about going somewhere else. And what a nice change it was! As soon as we had entered the parking lot it felt like we were back in a big city crawling with tourists and cars… and no chickens. The thing that hit me first was actually the smell. The smell of people and food and.. other not natural stuff. The kind of smell you find when you’re about to enter an amusement park, that you associate with suspenseful… fun!
As it’s Christmas, during the month of December they have a special Christmas lagoon ride that takes you around different scenes of the nativity accompanied by beautiful Hawaiian Christmas music. Those Hawaiians can sing! It was such a spiritual feeling sitting there in a boat holding Marcus’ hand, slowly gliding through the water under canopies of sparkling Christmas lights being serenaded by island tunes. I felt so thankful.
To top off the evening we went to watch the night show Breath of Life. An amazing dance performance demonstrating the cultures and virtues of the different Polynesian nations. It made me feel a little stupid with my European culture where singing and dancing is a little out of our comfort zone, while watching these young people display their colorful celebrations of life. At one point, when all the men were performing some version of the haka, I leaned over and asked Marcus if he was sad he didn’t get to show off his manliness this way back home. All of a sudden it seemed silly coming from a country that is most famous for its pastries.
I wonder if the lack of common celebration and gratitude for life, rejoicing in taking each of the small steps on each of our paths, adds to fact that many people suffer from stress and depression in our end of the world. I wonder if celebrating the simple fact that we are alive and free wouldn’t increase our life quality. If any, that should give the Danes a good reason to eat a lot of cake.