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Salamasina Fitisemanu

Prof. Tess Boone


Dance 1010
December 8, 2016
Reflection Assignment
In regards to a culture that is very similar, but distinct to my own, I learned that the native
Hawaiian experience living here in the United States, though distinct in its own particulars, was
actually very similar to other minority groups. The facilitated racism and discrimination that
occurred both in the islands of Hawaii as well as in the mainland was evident in about the same
capacities as other given minority groups of the time period through the 1700s on until the
1970s and 80s. The effects of both English and American colonization and imperialism are also
manifest in the evolutionary changes in traditions, cultural customs and representations. Now,
there is significantly decreased discrimination, but as in every other minority group, it is still
present. In addition, it is important to note that on account of Hawaiis role as a tourist
destination, many often thus perpetuate the ideal concept of Hawaii as solely a paradise for other
outsiders to enjoy, thus perpetuating misrepresentation of the islands. In a similar manner, many
thus view the all of the island people as exotic,
This specific assignment had a profound effect in regards to my outward perspective of
the world. Though some may claim that there is minimal to be found in the mundanity of
schoolwork, I found this to be of greater importance. In researching, preparing and giving an inclass presentation on the Hawaiian hula, I was able to see the true power of dance, as an art,
especially in collective groups of people. I came to a realization that in many cases, contrary to
popular belief and disregards, that dance, as one of the many forms of art, provokes and conveys
emotion. Thus, as a more personal and a greater appeal to the innate qualities of humanity, dance
brings people to action. In many situations, regarding public education in the United States, there
is negligible stress or significance on the humanities or arts, due to popular claims that such an
emphasis takes away from what is truly important in this, the age of information and
technology.
However, through this assignment, I realized that, indeed, this neglect of humanities and
various forms of art should not be so indoctrinated as part of our modern perspectives, and
specifically in our most fundamental systems of education. Undeniably, it is through art and
other media that true human feeling and emotion is conveyed. Through these studies of dance, it
is made manifest that emotion along with reason, is a dynamic factor in bringing people to see, to
act, to make a conscious choice to come out of ignorance, and to extend themselves in greater
capacities. To deny the majority the opportunity to learn to create and to express such emotion is
to deny them opportunities for growth, for human interaction and creating essential connections
and relations. Rather than learning to be a machine, to calculate and to appeal solely to logic and
reason, I have found that this is what it truly means to be human.