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Tue May 15, 2012, 09:46 AM

Polynesian Cultural Center - Yay or nay?

My wife and I are going to Oahu and have already booked tickets for the PCC, I then found out that it's run by the mormons....I feel decidedly un-easy about this...should I still go, or should I cancel???

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Reply Polynesian Cultural Center - Yay or nay? (Original post)
truebrit71 May 2012 OP
NYC_SKP May 2012 #1
madaboutharry May 2012 #2
SharonAnn May 2012 #3
truebrit71 May 2012 #10
RC May 2012 #4
RC May 2012 #5
truebrit71 May 2012 #9
4th law of robotics May 2012 #6
Lydia Leftcoast May 2012 #7
Lydia Leftcoast May 2012 #8
truebrit71 May 2012 #11
RC May 2012 #12
truebrit71 May 2012 #13
ellisonz May 2012 #15
Lydia Leftcoast May 2012 #16
ellisonz May 2012 #17
Lydia Leftcoast May 2012 #18
ellisonz May 2012 #19
Lydia Leftcoast May 2012 #20
ellisonz May 2012 #21
ellisonz May 2012 #14
mahina May 2012 #22
truebrit71 Jun 2012 #23
msongs Aug 2012 #24
truebrit71 Aug 2012 #25
Firebrand Gary Aug 2012 #26

Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 09:58 AM

1. It's up to you, but all the times I've gone to the islands I've never done that.

So cannot comment.

On Oahu, I enjoyed walking up the rainy side of the Loolau range of mountains, go to the golfcourse parking lot and hike up to a waterfall, totally non commercial.

Also, Hilo Hatties sucks.

If you buy Aloha shirts, be sure they're made in Hawaii and not Indonesia or India, and I got six at Ross of all places, go five shirts for $70, all authentic Hawaii shirts., after walking out of Hilo Hatties and seeing $55 shirts from India.

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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 09:59 AM

2. The people who are in the performances work very hard,

and it is interesting to watch. I suppose if I knew at the time the political involvements of the Mormon church, I may have thought twice. It is a judgment call. On one hand, the shows can be spectacular and enjoyable. On the other hand, the politics behind the scene are ugly. I don't know.

on edit: I agree that Hilo Hatties is not a good place to shop.

Go Kayaking. Best. Thing. Ever.

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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 10:05 AM

3. It's worth the visit. I found it interesting and helpful.

There is much to learn and understand about the history of the islands and this is one of the sources that has good information. There is much more to learn but this is good visit and informative.

Just because it's sponsored by the Mormons doesn't mean we need to avoid it. For heaven's sake.

When I'm traveling, I visit synagogues, mosques, Catholic and Orthodox churches and protestant churches. They all illustrate something about the countries and the cultures.

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Response to SharonAnn (Reply #3)

Tue May 15, 2012, 12:13 PM

10. I have no problem learning about other cultures..

..hence my desire to go to the PCC in the first place, I was just un-easy about it from the standpoint that the mormon church promotes bigotry, and I wasn't sure if there was any obvious presence of them at the center itself...

I also just think it's kinda weird that a white-mans cult born in Utah runs a place showcasing the history and cultures of remote island natives...I know they have a history there as an organisation, but they aren't 'native' themselves...

My basic point is trying to ascertain whether it is 'genuine' and accurate, or if it is sort of the 'Disney-fication' of the cultures...

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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 10:36 AM

4. Absolutely go!

 

Take your good camera. The Show is well worth it.







And they keep updating the show often, so there is always something new.
Also go early and explore the grounds.

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Response to RC (Reply #4)

Tue May 15, 2012, 10:51 AM

5. Park in the area of the arrow

 

It is much easier to leave after the show.

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Response to RC (Reply #5)

Tue May 15, 2012, 12:06 PM

9. Thank you for that...

...this is actually our second visit to Oahu, and we are not real 'show' fans, although we thoroughly enjoyed the Luau at Jermaine's, so we'll probably just skip out after the grub...

Thanks again for the parking tip though..

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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 11:06 AM

6. I enjoyed it

 

There's a tour of the mormon temple you can go on if you're interested but the cultural center itself isn't religious themed.

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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 11:43 AM

7. I was there many years ago, so it may have changed a lot

The tour started with a kind of welcome show, in which people from each island group came out riding canoes as an announcer said hello in their language and explained a bit about their culture.

The tour of the villages was a bit simplistic but fun. There were demonstrations of Hawaiian quilting, things you can make with coconut, wood carving, Maori games, and so on. The show was spectacular, with performers from all the major islands, although the dinner was nothing special.

The dancers and guides are students at Brigham Young University-Hawaii, and appearing at the PCC is their work-study job.

You don't get proselytized, in case that's what you're worrying about.

Actually, I had a great experience on my second stay in Hawaii (a summer session at UH for language teachers).

We were staying in a dorm that also housed a group of high school students from Samoa who were on an Upward Bound program. On their last night, they put on a show of singing and dancing in the cafeteria. I was impressed at what a high-quality show these kids were able to put on.

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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2012, 11:47 AM

8. My information may be out of date, but there is (used to be?) a circle-Oahu public bus

You could buy a monthly pass (it was really cheap) and just get on and off The Bus (that's what it's called) wherever you wanted.

It's a good way to see the "real Hawaii."

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #8)

Tue May 15, 2012, 12:14 PM

11. I know...my wife and I cracked each other up last year when we were there...

...'Honey look, here comes the TheBus'...

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #11)

Tue May 15, 2012, 12:52 PM

12. And don't forget TheCab...

 

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Response to RC (Reply #12)

Tue May 15, 2012, 01:30 PM

13. We mostly used TheFeet...

...

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #8)

Wed May 16, 2012, 12:38 AM

15. DaBus!

No one says "the"

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #15)

Wed May 16, 2012, 10:25 AM

16. I know--the first time I spent a summer session at UH

some of us Mainlanders noticed that and wondered why the company's official name wasn't "DaBus."

There were trash cans on the UH campus that said "da rubbish."

As a linguist, I really enjoyed listening to the varying degrees of Pidgin, from a slight accent to full-blown incomprehensible. I was once at Ala Moana Center where two comedians were doing a routine in thick Pidgin. You could tell who the local shoppers were by the fact that they were laughing, while the Mainlanders just looked puzzled.

That first summer session was in 1977, and the second one was in 1991. Again, as a linguist, I was pleased to see more attention being paid to the Hawaiian language. As one of my former fellow graduate students, then a professor at UH said, "Unlike Japanese, Chinese, Samoan, and the other Asian and Pacific languages, there's no 'old country' for Hawaiian. It has to live or die right here."

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #16)

Wed May 16, 2012, 01:16 PM

17. Hawaiian is making a great rebound.

The estimate of fluent native speakers is up to about 25,000 from several thousand previously. Pidgin sure does have varying degrees. My stepmother can turn it on and off from none to full-blown. I slip into occasionally, despite being haole, because I heard so much of it at work. I actually catch myself thinking in it occasionally although I'm far from full blown. I think Hawaiian is definitely a more formal language while pidgin is sort of a mindset.

Aloha!

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #17)

Wed May 16, 2012, 04:28 PM

18. In 1977, they were selling a T-shirt on campus that said

"I go school just for eat lunch, talk story, fuss aroun'."

I was tempted to buy it and wear it around my graduate school department back home, where they took themselves entirely too seriously and had no sense of humor. But I didn't do it, precisely because they had no sense of humor.

At a party, I met a couple who had come to Hawaii when the man got a fellowship to do grad work in astronomy. The woman found a job at the Honolulu public library and was at the circulation desk one day when a very elderly Asian man came carrying a piece of paper with the name of a recording of traditional Chinese music. She looked up the title and told the Asian man, "I'm sorry, but that record has been checked out."

"Eh?"

She thought he was deaf, so she repeated louder. He still didn't understand. Communication was not happening. Slower and louder didn't help.

Finally, one of the local librarians helped her out. "Da kine no mo' heah."

The Asian man nodded sadly and walked away.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #18)

Wed May 16, 2012, 04:36 PM

19. It's true...

...you know what they say about Hawaii schools, right ahead of Mississippi and right behind Alabama. No but really, the schools are getting mo bettah, kinda.

I might just have to make those shirts on cafepress!

I hope she told him when to come back! "You come back 10 days, I have for you"

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Response to ellisonz (Reply #19)

Wed May 16, 2012, 05:28 PM

20. A lot of students came from Hawaii to the West Coast colleges where I taught

Really nice kids, but low achievers academically, even the brightest students--unless you could find something that really excited them.

During the time I was teaching, there was some talk about Asian and Asian-American students doing so well in school, and one of my colleagues even wondered if it was genetic.

I asked him how that theory explained students from Hawaii, where an Asian name is no guarantee of brilliance.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #20)

Wed May 16, 2012, 08:13 PM

21. Hawaii has a a very rigid socio-economic/racial class structure.

If you have the money to go to Punahou, Iolani, Mid-Pac, St. Louis you're going to get a great education. If you go to most of the public schools not so much

It all dates back to the plantation days...and has really carried over in terms of who lives where, works where, and goes to school where. Everyone in Hawaii knows it's at play, but it really doesn't get talked about all that much, but it's certainly still there.

Haole
Japanese
Hawaiian
Chinese
Filipino
Samoan
Micronesian

I really want to read this book: http://www.amazon.com/Value-Hawaii-Biography-Monographs-ebook/dp/B00495XWZM/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337213536&sr=1-3

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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Wed May 16, 2012, 12:37 AM

14. Nay!

Mormons. But yeah I've never actually been so if you're into the whole luau schtick it might be your thing...

Must See Oahu:

Hike Diamond Head
Pearl Harbor
Bishop Museum
Pali Lookout
Kahana Valley
Maakapu Lighthouse
Cruise the North Shore and eat at a shrimp truck
Ulupo Heiau in Kailua
Pu'u O Mahuka Heiau in Pupukea/Waimea Bay



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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 06:46 AM

22. pass

There are way more fun things to do, imho. And it's crazy expensive.

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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 02:58 PM

23. Okay, time for a thread update...

...my wife and I got back from Hawaii yesterday and I have to say that as far as the PCC is concerned, "Nay" is the correct answer.

The 'mormon' aspect of the whole thing was only prevalent in the 'Brave New World' behavior of the staff. Nothing too overt but you could just tell that they were busting inside to tell you how fantabulous being a mormon was...(more power to them I guess...but xtainity is weird enough as it is without adding all of the mutiple-wives/magic underwear/Planet Xolob business..)

My biggest issue was that is just felt 'plastic'. Sort of like a 'Disney-fication' of the whole Polynesian culture. (Since finding out that the mormons ran the place it has continued to strike me as odd that a predominantly 'white' religion would be involved in promoting the polynesian culture seeing as how their entire mode was to essentially destroy it and turn the 'savages' into nice 'normal' mormons....)

The layout I found to be very confusing as well, the signs posted throughout the place seldom bare any resemblance to anything that really was in the direction where the arrows pointed, and the maps are only useful if it rains when you can use them as temporary hats because they do bugger-all good as actual maps..

On the plus side the food at the Ali'i luau was fabulous. We opted for the 'cheapest' luau (and the one we felt was most authentic...not sure how 'traditional' prime rib is as a menu item in a luau but there you go..) and were well pleased with the quality and variety of food on offer. We skipped the show as we have seen hip-shaking/fire throwers before, although as others have mentioned in this thread it is supposed to be rather good.

So, hellaciously over-priced for what you get, and all-in-all I would definitely suggest doing something else instead.

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Response to truebrit71 (Reply #23)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 01:20 AM

24. it is NOT polynesian culture it is Mormon Disneyland equivalent nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #24)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 10:41 AM

25. Precisely!

.

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Response to truebrit71 (Original post)

Mon Aug 6, 2012, 11:09 AM

26. Its on the BYU Campus...Don't do it, it's not worth it on any level!

nt

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