Chinese square dance meets Hawaiian hula

Updated: 2015-10-22 16:48


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Chinese square dance meets Hawaiian hula

George Szigeti (middle), president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority, attends a press conference in Beijing on Oct 14, 2015. [Photo provided to]

Chinese square dance groups are invited to perform during Hawaii's next major celebration in June, 2016, according to George Szigeti, president and CEO of Hawaii Tourism Authority, during his recent visit to Beijing.

"Next year will mark the 100th year celebration of the King Kamehameha parade in June," said Szigeti. "We invite square dance groups to participate in the parade and welcome visitors from China to come to see this grand celebration of Hawaii's culture and history."

June 11 is Kamehameha Day in Hawaii, a public holiday honoring Hawaii's first monarch, King Kamehameha I, with grand ceremonies, parades and other cultural celebrations on all major islands of Hawaii.

Hula, a unique Hawaiian dance accompanied by chant and song that preserves its storied traditions, will mix with the Chinese square dance as part of the celebration.

Szigeti says music and dance are a beautiful way to exchange cultures and language and that Hula Meets Square Dance is just the beginning of their shared appreciations of arts and cultures.

"China has a long and rich history that spans thousands of years. Hawaii also boasts a very rich and diverse culture and history. Hawaii's unique blending of culture was shaped by immigrants from countries around the world, including China," Said Szigeti.