Siosism | Newsletter September 2015
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Who Am I? What 4 Weeks In Hawaii Taught Me About Myself (Part 2/4)

Disclaimer: this week's newsletter is part two of my four-part series, which sums up my July/August trip to Hawaii, with lessons learned. Remember to brew some tea, find a good place to relax, and enjoy the read. (If you missed out on the last article, click here.)

A Polynesian Disneyland...

During my 5th or so day in Oahu, the first island we stopped at, I had the pleasure of spending an immersive day at the Polynesian Cultural Centre.
"The Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC) was founded in 1963 as a non-profit organization, and has entertained more than 37 million visitors, while preserving and portraying the culture, arts and crafts of Polynesia to the rest of the world."

It has a very interesting business model whereby ticket sales go into growth, maintenance and sponsoring students from other Polynesian islands to attend Brigham Young University there. The students also perform for the PCC as part of their scholarship, thus closing the loop.
I called the PCC the "Polynesian Disneyland" because it was literally a massive plot of land that housed everything you could ever want to see from every Polynesian culture. 
My first solid reconnection came in the form of "fire" here.

Look With More Than Just Your Eyes

This "fire" came from an immersive 4D experience called “Hawaiian Journey”, which included a short film on a massive IMAX screen, with moving chairs and mist-spraying backseat covers.
During the film, I felt like I was sitting infront of my ancestors, listening to their stories about the importance of passing down vital knowledge from generation after generation.
(For many indigenous cultures, this oratory practice is quite “normal”, yet it [face-to-face storytelling] is something that is slowly slipping away in today’s hyper-connected, increasingly digital world.)
As I was visually transported through dizzying canyons, penetrating lava tubes and crashing shorelines, a part of me was whisked away to a past-life where nothing else mattered but family (ohana), friends and the protection of sacred lands. I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. 

Then, the narrator of the story uttered these words:
"If you want to know who you are, look to the land for answers. But don't just look, look with more than just your eyes."

To me, this meant reconnecting with my "home" (physical land or region of birth) and then learning to look beyond just the physical. What are the light and dark sides of my Polynesian ancestry? What inspiration can I draw to guide me into the next phase of my life? Am I still on the right path?
All these questions, ideas and words, became a guiding light for the rest of my trip.
The Spirit of Polynesia
Here's a video straight from the Polynesian Cultural Centre Youtube page
Stay tuned for the next part of the series...
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