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Hana Cultural Center's ANNUAL HO'OLAULE'A


hoolaulea Tastings and demonstrations of Hawaiian, Chinese, Filipino, Japanese and Portuguese foods

This year the Hana Cultural Center's 9th Annual Ho'olaule'a (celebration) is on Saturday, November 18th, 2006 with the cultural theme "The History of Food in East Maui". The event will take place on the Cultural Center's grounds. At the Ho'olaule'a there will be tastes of East Maui's multi-cultural, culinary past with food booths, demonstrations and contests. Live entertainment provided by East Maui musicians and dancers will run all day. Admission is free.

We are what we eat. Food is culture. Historically the Hana District was one of old Hawaii's "poi bowls"with its loi and streams filled with life. Food in East Maui is still a major source of entertainement. With only two resturants in the district, Hana district residents more in touch with their culinary past than many Island residents.

A smooth skinned Hawaiian man leaned over his poi board and raised his stone pounder for one last thwack. His strong hands and arm muscles were made from years of perfecting this craft. He laid his pounder aside and dipped two fingers in the thick, sticky, purple mash, twirled them around in the air, put them in his mouth and sucked the poi down. He lifted his face to the sky and smiled

A young Filipino woman lifted a lid off a simmering pot, the steam fogging her glasses. The savory smell of the thick sauce of pork slowly cooked with garlic, onions, soy sauce, and vinegar filled the air. A gaggle of children suddenly appear at the door to the kitchen waiting to hear if the pork adobo is ready.

The night before New Years, 30 members of the Japanese community worked side by side, rolling batches of the freshly pounded mochi in mochiko flour and shaping the masses into flattened balls. They wore aprons and handkerchiefs on their heads, their fingers were caked with the doughy goo. One of the soft, freshly made mochi filled with sweet, black bean paste was discreetly removed from the table by a small girl and joyfully eaten in the moonlit plantation fields.

The smell of sweet mango and flowers filled the air. Under a mango tree stood two young, local boys surrounded by furry mango seeds and orange-pink peels. Their faces and hands glistened with yellow mango juice and rivulets of sticky juice ran down their arms. Grinning they raced to the ocean to rinse off.

These are some of the memories of food and growing up in East Maui. The Hana Cultural Center is invites both residents and visitors to come to a taste of East Maui. There will be historical, cultural and culinary examimations of the food available for the uninitiated. The Hana Cultural Center Museum and Gift Shop will be open with free admission. For further information please contact Leina'ala Pua-Esrella at 248-8622.

Contact: Leina'ala Pua Estrella
Tel: 808 248 862