Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday, I have an afternoon for me. Those are the only afternoons that I have no classes and are days that I look forward to like you wouldn't believe. For the last 4 years, I have been going to a hula class and, though I'm not "Hawaii-worthy" yet...I have improved and I will be ready for "the big island" in the future!!! I posted a bit about it back in November here...if you want to go and read a little more, please do...but come back!! :-D
To give you an idea as to just how popular hula is here in Nagasaki.....let's see...last summer at our big Hula Festival, there were 106 groups who performed....each group had at least 6 members...with the average membership being 10-12, I would guess. Our group had 23!! (and we were NOT the biggest group!!) That, my friends, is a lot of women!!
Every December, we have a special end-of-the-year luncheon at the Best Western Hotel here in the city. Not all members of each group go, but most of us do...the price for a ticket for the lunch, live music and dancing (of course!), door prizes and lots of fun is about $100....but I cough up the money and I go. It is such a fun.......and funny day.
Picture if you will.....650 women...of varying ages (but more towards the late 50's and older!!)...varying heights and sizes....and one foreigner (uh-huh...that would be me!!)...all dressed in performance outfits, flowers in our hair and leis!!! It is one of THE most colorful ways to spend a day that I have ever had the pleasure of spending!!! We laugh...whenever the band plays a song that we know, we get up and dance...but most of all, we have a wonderful time!!!
On Wednesday....I got the pictures that were taken on that day from my sensei ("teacher"). There were two tables of our group and the photographer went from table to table taking group pictures....of all the tables!!!
Here was ours......aren't we a lovely group?!?!
Our sensei is the one in the middle, sitting next to me, in black. I just love her...she thinks thatI am really a strange foreigner...but laughingly so....foreigners usually do Japanese dance, or flower arrangment, or tea ceremony or pottery...there are so many things to do here, culturally...Me? I do hula!!! She thinks that is quite funny!!!
Each of those outfits, have been worn for a performance at one place or another...we usually each choose the one that we like to wear for the party.
Oh..yeah...and we drink beer, too!!! (The big brown bottles are empties!!)
These ladies and hula have become part of my salvation....I go to class, put on my pau skirt, pin the flowers in my hair and put on my lei. When the music starts, I am no longer in Japan, but transported to another place....and I dance. Lordy Lordy...do I dance!!!
Mahalo, my friends...and good night!