Oxnard High School Sponsors Asian American Pacific Islander Festival
Oxnard High School (OHS) sponsored a celebration of culture, traditions, and the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on Friday, May 31, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. The event, hosted by the OHS Associated Student Body and the Key Club, included performances by hula dancers Ka Hale Hula a Pilialohaokalani a Hilo, a lion dancer, Filipino dancers, and Japanese drummers, Togen Daiko. Food and beverages were provided by Sam Choy’s Pineapple Express and Shave It.
One of the highlights was the lion dancer. The speaker explained, “There were no lions in Japan. The dance is called ‘Shishi-mai’ and got its roots from China. The dance was performed to ward off evil spirits.”
Togen Daiko was formed in April 1996 at the Oxnard Buddhist Temple. Their drum style repertoire mixes visual movements with a variety of taiko styles.
The beautiful hula dancers Ka Hale Hula a Pilialohaokalani have a rich background in Hawaiian culture. “Hula is the language of the heart and therefore the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people,” said Haatoa Vainuku, lead musician and choreographer. “A hula dance is a choreographed interpretation of a poetic text, that tells a story through hand, arm and body gestures using rhythmic patterns.” Vainuku later played the ukulele and sang the love song, ‘You are my night. You are my everything.’
A special recognition went out to Daphne for organizing this amazing event.