April 10, 2001 First Birthday Celebrations
There are so many things about Hawai`i that make it a unique place to live. First birthday celebrations, or “baby luaus,” as they are more commonly called, are definitely a local tradition. Although it’s a time to celebrate another “first” in a child’s life, here in Hawai`i, it’s also another excuse for family and friends to get together.
This past Sunday, Kyle and I went to a First Birthday Party for Baby Vance, whose parents are our friends. Baby Vance’s party was at Masa’s Cafeteria. Nestled in the middle of an industrial district, it doesn’t look like anything particularly spectacular from the outside, but once we entered the building, it was quite apparent that Mom and Dad had gone “all out.”
We were greeted by a reception table, where we signed in, handed over the gifts, received our favors, and entered a “Guess How Many M&M’s in the Baby Bottle” contest. Once we were “in,” we were free to get a plate of pupus, and sit and mingle with friends and family. We were entertained by Kapena, who played live music for us (including requests!) The kids jumped around in one of those air dinosaur contraptions, and there was even a Pokemon Print Club machine for guests to make and take home complimentary mementos!
Lunch was a smorgasbord of local grinds -sushi, kim chee, Chinese chicken salad, mochiko chicken, shoyu pork, beef broccoli, andagi, and much more. Besides Kapena, the televisions around the room entertained the dads and uncles who would otherwise be missing Tiger Woods in the Masters. And after lunch, a magician came to entertain the kids.
It seems like Baby Vance’s mom and dad aren’t the exception. Most local families celebrate first birthdays in big ways. All I kept thinking about was how similar it was to planning a wedding. I mean, there were favors and centerpieces, entertainment, a buffet line, a reception table, and even a bar! But I think although it’s a great way to celebrate Baby’s First, Hawai`i people see it as a time to have fun, eat well, and enjoy the company of their family and friends. It’s the local way.
Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #73（スーザン先生の英語講座）
You’d like to mail some postcards and/or letters back to your friends and family at home that have been postmarked in Hawaii. Go to the front desk at your hotel, or a local post office and say
“I’d like to mail these to Japan, please”
The clerk will tell you how much you owe, and will mail your letters for you! You also have the option of packing a small box (if you bought too many things!) For this, you’d probably have to go to the post office (there is one in Waikiki, and one at Ala Moana Center.) There are also takkyubin services in Hawaii. Ask your hotel concierge about it!In
|Loco Girl’s Profile（ロコ・ガールのプロフィール） Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!|