At Culture Day, students were able to experience traditional Japanese calligraphy. (Photo by Cameron Enomoto)

By Cameron Enomoto | Staff Writer

On Friday, March 24, the Board of Student Publications, Student Congress, and Board of Student Activities hosted Culture Day for students to learn and experience different cultures. The event had multiple activities, free food, and live performances for everyone together enjoy.

“I wanted to come with my friends because I think doing new things is good,” said Kimiko Tsuda, an international student from Saitama, Japan, who is studying business. “I don’t know a lot about the other cultures of the world because I lived in Japan my whole life. I want to know about how other people do things and bring my experience home to my family after I finish my education.”

One of the most popular activity booths was the Hawaiʻi Taekwondo Federation. There were live demonstrations and opportunities for students to learn about different punching and kicking techniques. Many students also frequented the calligraphy booth where they were able to use brushes and ink to write characters.

“I think it’s pretty cool that they had the taekwondo booth set up,” said Jenna Malapit, a student from Hilo, Hawaiʻi, who is a Health Science major. “I’ve recently been trying to get into self-defense so that I can protect myself in harmful situations. Sometimes I get home late from work and I don’t have a car yet so I usually catch the bus. This made me think about signing up for taekwondo lessons.”

Other activities available at Culture Day included kōnane (Hawaiian checkers), Hawaiʻi stands with Ukraine, and the ESOL 94 and ESL 100 courses. After students completed activities at a minimum of three booths, they were able to grab free food in the cafeteria and watch performances from different cultures.

“Kōnane was pretty fun too,” said Malapit. “I remember playing it when I was in elementary school for our Makahiki celebrations. I completely forgot how to play, but it was nice relearning what I used to know.”

While watching various performances in the cafeteria, students compared and contrasted the experience to their own cultures.

“The outfits and music were very different for the Korean performance,” said Anu Wilson, a student from Kalihi, Oʻahu, who is interested in studying Hawaiian culture. “I danced hula from a young age, and I was surprised to see how conservative some of the other outfits are. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, of course, I just found it fascinating. I really hope there is another Culture Day in the future so more students can learn about each other.”