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WikiProject Hawaii (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
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One opinion on "commercial luau food"[edit]

Wikipedia is NOT the place to market fake tourist luaus. SO ?

Commercial luau food is nasty. Buy a copy of a good restaurant guide and sample local restaurants instead. Zora 06:46, 6 May 2006 (UTC)

Section on luau-themed parties[edit]

The section made a race-based segregation of "Hawaiians" and "Non-Hawaiians", in effect claiming that racial Hawaiians have "true luaus", while racial non-Hawaiians have inferior events to be referred to as "luau-themed parties". However, people can throw, attend, and enjoy a "true luau", a "luau-themed party", or both, regardless of their race. So I revised the section and removed the racially discriminatory POV. I added scare quotes for "true" and "real" when used with "luau", since those adjectives are subjective and relative.

I also corrected Hawaiian and English spellings, added the References section with a reference, and added a citation to that reference for the etymology of luau. I added a note identifying luau foods that are not native to Hawaii, in order to provide some perspective on the description of luaus as "traditional", "real", or "true".

Agent X 05:46, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I wrote the part you didn't like, and I wasn't really thinking in terms of race, more in terms of culture. The Kims or the Kobashigawas can throw a real luau, as far as I'm concerned. It might be nice to try to find someone writing about the ethnography of luaus and discussing the distinction between "real" luaus and "fake" mainland luaus. I'm writing from a native informant perspective. Zora 09:42, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

I removed this part from the section, due to its anti-business POV:

Hawaii residents tend to distinguish between family luaus and commercial luaus. Several commercial luau operations market themselves to tourists, offering package deals usually involving a bus-ride to a remote beach-side location, professionally prepared food, and professional Hawaiian-themed entertainment. Residents do not ordinarily patronize such operations. If they attend a luau, it is likely to be a backyard affair put on by family or friends.

Clearly, you have a gripe against "commercial luaus". However, many residents in Hawaii depend on the tourist industry, including luaus, for employment. "Kims" indicates Koreans, and "Kobashigawas" indicates Japanese. Do you think that black or white people can throw a "real" luau? Is any luau on the mainland necessarily "fake"? Is any luau in Hawaii necessarily "real"? Is it even necessary at all to force all luaus to fit into either the "real" or the "fake" box?

What do you mean by saying that you are "writing from a native informant perspective"? By "native informant", do you mean "racial Hawaiian"? Do you mean that you are the informant yourself? Is such a "perspective" a neutral POV?

Agent X 09:16, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

C'mon. I'm not Native Hawaiian. I'm a haole who's lived in Hawai'i for thirty years. I'm not even a kama'aina. But I can certainly tell the difference between the backyard luaus I've attended and the commercial luau that some misguided friends took me to see. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with local culture. Someone from the mainland who puts on a luau-themed party (but has never experienced a local luau) is simply not going to know how it is done in Hawai'i. In the same spirit, if I decided that my daughter's wedding would be a Hindu ceremony, and I'd never been to one, nor knew any Hindus, and only had some vague idea that it involved a fire and marigold garlands, I couldn't put on a "real" Hindu wedding.
Anyone who has lived in Hawai'i for a long time and been to a lot of luaus could probably put on an "authentic" luau. White, black, purple, whatever.
As for dissing the commercial luaus ... I have no obligation to lie to support the tourist industry. The commercial luau food was atrocious. That's not to say that it couldn't be good. It's just that the demand isn't there. Foodie tourists will go to the Haliimaile General Store, not to a Lahaina tourist extravaganza. Tourist-oriented food and entertainment is often excrable, oriented towards the lowest common denominator. It's embarrassing. Cringe-making. Totally inauthentic. Tahitian dancers in coconut bras are not "Hawaiian".
Since I've never been able to afford the REALLY ritzy hotels, I'll guess that if they put on a luau, the food is good and the entertainment is closer to authentic. But it's a performance, not a social function. I guess I would say that the luau is defined not by food and entertainment, but by the relationship between hosts and guests. Um, let's see ... suppose someone offered a Chinese restaurant "experience" called "Chinese wedding banquet". You'd sit at tables with a bunch of strangers watching a fake bride and groom. Is that a wedding banquet? I don't think so. Zora 10:37, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I find this sentence problematic: At these types of parties entertainment is a must. First of all, surely entertainment is a requirement of any party, so the statement is unnecessary. Second, it reads like a how-to guide for luau parties, not a neutral encyclopedic article. I think the whole section could stand to be rewritten. Chalkieperfect (talk) 20:37, 19 October 2013 (UTC)

Foods: "common"? "universal"? "traditional"?[edit]

To Zora --- If common meaons "universal", then not one of the listed foods can be verified as a "common" luau food. It is physically impossible to monitor every luau in the universe to see what food, or drink, is consumed at ALL luaus. Therefore, it is not justified to single out BEER as something to deliberately exclude from "common luau foods" because you conjecture that it is not consumed at "Mormon luaus". In fact, beer is probably consumed at more luaus in general than any other food or drink item.

One of the problems for this article is the precise definition of "traditional", as applied to food, drink, and entertainment.

Agent X 12:36, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

This article is on a thing[edit]

This article is clearly on the thing called a Luau. It is not on the word "Luau" and should not be categorized as such.John Pack Lambert (talk) 18:53, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

What a bizarre and utterly nonsensical statement. Do you also plan on removing the category 'Algonquian loanwords' from the Tomahawk (axe) article? Since that article is clearly about an axe, not a word. In fact according to your argument, you probably could just eliminate all such categories, since, as Wikipedia is not a dictionary, it doesn't really have many articles about 'words'. Dlabtot (talk) 22:14, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
    • Yes I do. These articles are not on words, and classifying them as such is just plain wrong.John Pack Lambert (talk) 23:22, 6 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Since we have articles like Lady (word) the claim that I am off base ignored the reality that we have articles that are on words, but this article is clearly not one of them.John Pack Lambert (talk) 23:27, 6 February 2013 (UTC)

Lack of clarity on History.[edit]

I quote from the article: "In ancient times, including ancient Hawaii, men and woman ate their meals separately; also women and the rest of society were not allowed to eat foods that were not common or foods that were only served during special occasions."

I find this confusing; by "women and the rest of society" I understand they mean "everyone", which doesn't seem to be what the text is trying to express. (talk) 10:10, 2 October 2014 (UTC)