Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ukulele Class Update

   The Live Aloha Hawaiian cultural festival is fast approaching (September 7) and I am still working to memorize both the words and the ukulele chords for the five songs we'll be performing (me along with about 499 other ukulele players)  A month ago I had trouble remembering how the tunes went the day after class. Now I couldn't get them out of my head if I tried.  I'm very comfortable with most of the chords we play. There are a few notable exceptions which are still works in progress. This past week I sat across from another Haole at ukulele class and noticed he was doing this really cool triplet strum when we came to the vamps.  I will definitely have to learn how to do that some day. It's really more like a structured jam session than a class.

    I wasn't sure on the exact definition of "Haole" other than it was used to refer to a white person. One of the Hawaiians referred to me as a Haole and then apologized for having used the term. That made me think the term may have some mild deprecative meaning to Hawaiians similar to  a black person calling a white person "Honky". When I later looked it up on the computer, several definitions seemed pretty neutral while one definition used the term "pejorative" in describing its meaning.  Personally, I'm very comfortable with being a Hawaiian Wannabe and don't mind being called a Haole.  How pejorative the word is undoubtedly depends on the attitudes of those who use the word.

    The Hawaiians in the ukulele class have all been very gracious and welcoming to me. It's been such a fun time that I have wanted to share it with friends and relations. So far I have brought 4 different visitors to class, comprising Linda, grand daughters Luna and Madelynn, and a friend from church. This past week when I brought my grand daughter, Madelynn, she seemed to have been very inspired by the experience. As I drove her home she was trying to think of a way she could arrange transportation to attend the class on a regular basis.

    This past week we spent some time towards the end of the session practicing the music for several hula numbers the group would be doing soon at a luau for the Lake Stevens Senior Center. This included a men's hula dance. I was amazed as one particularly big Hawaiian guy was transformed into the epitome of grace when he started to dance the hula.

   I took advantage of some slow time at the bee booths this past week to practice my ukulele.  At the "outside" booth, located in the Snohomish County Ag Area, we have a live beehive in a double screen tent( a screen tent within a screen tent), I tell fair visitors that the tent is to protect the bees from the fair visitors. They think I am joking, but I think they really do pose a greater hazard to the bees than the bees do to them.  On a few days as things got slow, I sat inside the tent for an hour or so serenading the bee hive.  I didn't get stung on either occasion so bees apparently don't seem to mind Hawaiian ukulele music.  On the other hand, I also didn't notice any of the girls clapping and a few of them pooped on my ukulele. The main reason for sitting inside the tent with the bees is that it seems to attract the attention of the passers by and questions like, "Why aren't they stinging you?" It provides a good opportunity to explain to the public the usual peaceful nature of the bees in contrast to their more cranky cousins,  like yellow jackets and bald face hornets.

    While working at the "Outside" booth one of our visitors had some interesting tattoos. While I'm generally not a big fan of body art, I found it difficult to disapprove of these particular tattoos. I didn't notice until later that one bee had a red bow on its head while the other didn't. Possibly they were intended to depict a girl bee and a boy bee.  Yet the boy bee still had a stinger.  Unlike the bees in the Bee Movie, male bees have no stingers. The only thing they can do when they are annoyed is to buzz angrily.

The Owner of the Beez Neez meets the owner of the bees knees


1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to hear how your cultural festival went!