Friday, August 29, 2008

Luau Etiquette

Just another friendly reminder about the luau next Saturday (Sept. 6). If you were thinking there would be dancing and singing, think again. Once the girls take hula lessons, we may incorporate it into the festivities, but for now, it's only about the food. Kulani's family has a saying: "There's the singing and dancing side of the island, then there's the working side of the island. We come from the working side of the island." Some of you have asked whether you should bring money. The answer is no. We do not have a 1-year-old baby nor is this about a birthday. This is just our attempt at keeping ties to the "old ways." Also, you do not need to bring anything. However, if you are insisting, bring fresh fruit, a side salad, or a drink, if it suits you. This luau is more about meat.

There is a slight learning curve to a luau if you've never been. For those who have been coming for years, I think by now you know the gist of it. But for you first timers, let me provide the following tips:
  • Come hungry. The saying at all luaus goes: you don't eat until you're full, you eat until you're tired. Then you take a nap, get up, and eat some more.
  • Try not to disparage the food so loudly. Besides the sides that people bring, this will be authentic cultural cuisine. It would be in poor taste to question any of the food choices. Anthony Bourdain would not approve. There will be some poi on hand, which you can try. (It's a purple, pastey looking dish.) But don't take a lot, and don't moan when you taste it. I'm warning you now: if you didn't grow up eating poi, you will likely not enjoy the flavor or texture. But trust me, Islanders love this stuff.
  • Dress casual, very casual. Dust off the mu-mus, dawn the flip-flops; this is your chance to wear the Hawaiian shirt in the back of your closet; anything goes--and I mean ANYTHING (growl!).
  • Children are more than welcome to come.

Kulani usually sets out name tags for each of the dishes, so you know what it's called. By now, most of you have had Hawaiian food at least once in your life. Here's another chance. We can't wait!


Aundrea said...

I might just have to copy and paste your rules for instructions at our next luau! I think it's especially rude when people ask, "Ew, what is that green stuff?" Or, "Ew, what's that purple stuff? Is it some sort of pudding?"

I feel like saying, "Get your haole butt out of my backyard!"

Fish said...

My favorite: "Are those worms?" for the long-rice.

Shannon said...

Sounds so fun, how great that you keep the tradition going.