Student Activities

Hawaii Spotlight

Mixed Plate

Hawaii's Local Culture

kakoooiwiHawaii is unique in every aspect - its natural surroundings, the culture, food, people and spirit of aloha. For the Spring 2014 Semester, Student Life has teamed up with faculty to highlight Hawaii’s mixed plate of cultures, traditions, habits and languages. Student Life's Mixed Plate Program will provide opportunities for students explore Hawaii’s unique local culture and learn why they are important to the island we live on.  

These events are free to all HPU Students with a valid ID and transportation will be provided to the off campus site visits from the Downtown and Hawaii Loa Campuses. For more information regarding the Hawaii Spotlight Program, please contact Gleanne Dimson ( or Danielle Fodor (

Pidgin 101 - How Fo Speak Pidgin
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Warmer Auditorium 
Pidgin, also known as, Hawaii Creole, is the language that was formed on the plantations as workers who spoke different languages needed a means to communicate. Student Life will be screening Pidgin: The Voice of Hawaii and has invited the director and others featured in the film to discuss and provide a deeper understanding of Pidgin and its role in Hawaii as a language. 

Marlene Booth is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and instructor of film at the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawai‘i.  She directed and co-produced (with the late Kanalu Young)the film, Pidgin:  The Voice of Hawai‘i, winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the 2009 Hawai‘i International Film Festival.  Her films have aired on PBS and screened in film festivals internationally and throughout the U.S.
Lee A. Tonouchi is also known as "Da Pidgin Guerrilla."  I'm one Pidgin author and activist; as why dey wen go follow me around for video tape me for da Pidgin movie. My books include Da Word, Living Pidgin, Da Kine Dictionary,and Buss Laugh.  My latest book Significant Moments in da Life of Oriental Faddah and Son won da Association for Asian American Studies book award for poetry/prose.  I taught da class English 3203: Pidgin Literature at HPU. 
Ermile Hargrove is an independent technical writer, writing reports and grant proposals for schools, but his research interest remains in understanding the socio-historical and socio-culture generations of Pidgin. This interest led to being a founding member of a university-affiliated research group called Da Pidgin Coup and to having an opportunity to share insights with Marlene Booth about growing up with Pidgin.   
Kent Sakoda is the author of Pidgin Grammar and teaches at UH-Manoa in the Department of Second Language Studies.

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Kau Kau - Let's Eat!
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Warmer Auditorium
Mac salad, manapua, musubi, fried rice, katsu, poke, meat jun, laulau, and the list goes on! Dr. Marc Gilbert will be talking about the history of the plate lunch and Hawaii’s local cuisine! Join Student Life as we learn and sample some of the flavors of the island.

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Malama the Aina - Farm to Table at Kapalai Farms
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Malama Honua, meaning to care for and live in harmony with the Earth. Each element of nature – ‘aina (land), ea (air), and wai (water) – are all equally vital to the human race. By respecting and nurturing nature, it provides for us and sustains life for ourselves and future generations. Kapalai Farm's mission is to inspire people to connect with themselves, the land, and their community through Hawaiian cultural and environmental education by offering hands-on opportunities on a kalo based organic farm that is a model of sustainability. We will be working in the loi (taro patches) to revitalize the aina in the hopes of one day creating sustainable food sources for the area. Tasks include but are not limited to, clearing invasive vegetation, helping to construct and maintain new and existing loi kalo (irrigated ponds, terraces for cultivation of loi), weeding, planting, mulching, trail maintenance and plant propagation.

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