You think of hula and you think of what? Grass skirts, maybe that three-inch tiki doll bouncing back and forth back and forth on the dash of your car...well, maybe not your car. See, that's exactly why Hawaiian cultural groups started the World Invitational Hula Festival...to celebrate the hula dance. They want to rehabilitate its image and revitalize its historical importance.
Hula is Hawaiian history. The precise movements and complex rules of the dance tell the stories of the islands' original inhabitants. At first, only men hula'd. But time went on and women took up the dance. But when Christian missionaries came to Hawaii, they saw not history, not culture, but sex in hula's gyrations. So hula was banned and locals could only perform the forbidden sacred dance in secret.
Luckily, that's no longer the case. And hula's even going through a renaissance of sorts. The World Invitational Hula Festival takes place at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu next weekend. There will be dancers from around the world competing in both traditional and modern categories. It starts November 11th and runs for three dance-filled days.
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