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Hawaii club to host luau

| Friday, March 20, 2015

The annual Hawaii Club Luau — a traditional celebration of Hawaii’s native culture, which was first hosted at Notre Dame in 1981 — will take place Saturday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Stepan Center.

Hawaii Club of Notre Dame co-president and sophomore Kisa Matlin said the luau provides students with a “tropical getaway” from the harsh South Bend winter as well as an opportunity to connect to Hawaiian culture.

“We have about 35 or so students here from Hawaii,” she said. “We’re a very tight knit community, so doing this luau every year is a way for us to just connect to our culture back home and to also share it with the Notre Dame community here.”

In previous years, around 300 people attended the event, which Matlin said incorporates a number of fun activities and ties in various aspects of Hawaiian culture.

The luau will feature a hula show, musical entertainment and a Hawaiian dinner, which will include a buffet table with a number of native foods, she said. There will also be a free photo booth, temporary tattoos and a country store where attendants can buy trinkets from Hawaii.

“We have kalua pig, which is the Hawaiian analog to pulled pork,” she said. “We have fresh pineapple with li hing [mui] powder. We have lomi-lomi salmon, which is diced salmon with onions, tomatoes and … seasoning and haupia, which is like coconut pudding for dessert.”

Although Notre Dame Food Services will prepare some of the food, Matlin said club members will also make some of the dishes themselves.

As for the hula show, Matlin said the dancing is something most Hawaiians are familiar with, having grown up on the islands.

“Hawaiian culture education is integrated into our schooling in general,” she said. “[Hula dancing] is something we’re all familiar with, if not particularly skilled at.”

While Matlin said she and other members of the club often miss home while they are away at school, but the luau gives everyone the opportunity to come together.

“It’s something that we can do together as a club to bring a little piece of home to South Bend,” she said. “And it’s also a way for us to share our culture, which is unique, with the rest of the Notre Dame community.”

Tickets are $10 with a student ID and available for purchase at the LaFortune Student Center box office or at the door.

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About Carolyn Hutyra

Carolyn Hutyra serves as an Assistant News Editor for The Observer. She is a senior from Arlington Heights, Illinois studying Biology and Anthropology.

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