Penina Suddeth and Tiona Hobson performed a Tahitian dance called Porenetia at the Kanaka Hui Ohana Holiday Bash in Davenport Dining Hall on Tuesday. Suddeth has been dancing for about four years, but it was Hobson’s first performance. Also at the party were the band Mystical Minority performing reggae music and a Hawaiian Santa Claus who passed out treats. This was the first time the club put on a holiday luau, but they hope to make it a tradition on campus.
Reggae melodies and Christmas hats filled Davenport Dining Hall Tuesday evening for the Kanaka Hui Ohana Bash held by the Hawaiian club on the University of La Verne campus.
“I’m squinting right now. I’m squinting and I see Hawaii,” George Keeler professor of journalism said of the program scheduled during dinner time for the campus.
The menu offered kaluah pork and cabbage, sticky rice and stir fry vegetables for those indulging in the island vibe.
“Kaluah pork and sticky rice, we are in downtown Hawaii right here,” Keeler said.
Reggae filled the dining hall before the audience was entertained by dancers performing a modernized hula dance in Hawaiian print wraps while a band played smooth sounds of reggae.
Four female dancers accompanied by three male dancers danced together for their first number while only two women danced a Tahitian piece.
“Davenport had ono grinds and the music was chill,” said senior Mary Cotner.
Celebrating the holiday season the Hawaiian way was the goal of the Kanaka Hui Ohana club who hosted the event for its first year.
“I have spent two years in the Hawaiian club because I felt such a connection with the culture,” senior club member Tiona Hobson said.
“I felt that I needed to make a stand, so I took a leadership position,” Hobson said.
Lead singer Akoni Clubb caught the attention of some viewers of the show, leaving some listeners very interested in the group.
His group was made up of friends with no specific name but featured two guitarists, a drummer and pianist.
The group also enjoyed playing older tunes, while they still grooved to newer melodies created by Clubb.
Enjoying what they love while entertaining others is what the group does along with performing at venues in the Los Angeles County area.
“I really enjoy Hawaiian food, so I was very excited to hear about the event,” senior Campus Activities Board Chair Michelle Ajemian said.
“I just got here and the atmosphere has me feeling good, it is really nice,” Ajemian said.
Diners embraced the island atmosphere by wearing leis that were placed on tables with Christmas chocolates for people to enjoy.
“It is chill and the musicians are really good,” senior psychology major Silvia Guerra said.
Many students were very talkative while dining, leaving smiles throughout the room, which seemed to match the comforting vibe of the music.
Everyone seemed to enjoy the laid back Hawaiian atmosphere of the event.
“Coming inside Davenport to a mellow atmosphere is different but I like it,” sophomore theatre major Narlyia Sterling said.
The event lasted a little over an hour leaving some disappointed due to its rather short length.
“I enjoyed it, I wish I could have stayed longer but I had work,” freshman political science major Mayra Ramos said.
For more information about Kanaka Hui Ohana, visit http://clubs.ulv.edu/~kho/.
Danielle Lampkin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.