Every year the pageantry of the Merrie Monarch is celebrated and the culture is honored by the hard working Kumu Hula and their dancers... as well as the organizers, security, ushers, television staff etc. Most of the audience is left in awe at the hard work that was put into each performance and is left satisfied and filled with pride that, once again the legacy of King David Kalakaua shines through the native people of our great state.
Then there are the Others...the people who come out of the woodwork late Saturday night after the results have been read and the claims of conspiracy, ineptness, and scandal about the judges surface. Every single time someone has told me that a certain group should have won and that the judges were scheming against them, I later find out from the experts who know, that there was a legitimate reason for that group not winning, be it non traditional dress or not following the traditional dances of the Kahiko, etc...
I am priviledged to be close enough to the Merrie Monarch to know, that the time and energy put into the program is a "labor of love" and done with only good intentions.
I see the work that goes into the pre planning first hand and honestly would not be able to do that work...late nights, tedious and detailed information gathering. All done to give you the smooth running, seamless show you see on television for three nights.
So to those of you who worked so hard to perpetuate the culture through Hula we salute you and look forward to the 50th Annual Merrie Monarch Hula Festival next year.