Mauruuru roa to all participants of Heiva I Honolulu 2012, held at the Waikiki Shell, March 15th through the 17th. Each year the investment of time and monies to produce such an event is always overshadowed by the experience of watching each solo contestant and group take the stage with just as much investment into costuming, music, drum, and dance that surpass the prior year. The solo competition acts as a gauge of the individual skill level at Heiva I Honolulu and this year proved that with time and practice each of you have progressed immensely, as our head judge from Tahiti noted. The crowds at the Waikiki Shell were wow-ed this year by our group performances, as were the Tahiti Nui International staff. Participating groups this year showcased programs that has the Tahitian people looking across miles of ocean, waiting for their opportunity to see you do the same in Tahiti. We appreciate each of you for your dedication to the tahitian culture.
We would also like to thank the vendors for their continued support, perpetuating the tahitian culture through their artwork and craftsmanship. It is our hope that the experience is as rewarding for you as it is for us. And to our sponsors who help us in producing Heiva I Honolulu, we appreciate your years of commitment to our organization.
We were fortunate to have beautiful Hawaii sun and cool nights this week after two weeks of heavy rains, thunder, and lightning. We are appreciative of our judges, who braved the heat and savored the cool evenings. We are also indebted to the Minister of Culture of Tahiti for his support of events outside of French Polynesia that edify and perpetuate the Tahitian culture. We are even more appreciative of our special guests who added "celebrity" to our event, Mayor Peter Carlisle of Honolulu for his quick "hello" and his dance presentation and Hawai's very own, reigning Mrs. America, Lara Fonoimoana, as co-host and assisting with our Awards Ceremony.
Lastly, there are no words that would relay the deep amount of gratitude we have for the loyalty and devotion of our staff and volunteers to the event. From the front of house to the back of house as far as the back parking entry, we feel your commitment through your hard work.
As we close this decade of Heiva I Honolulu, we look forward to many more with the hope of generating a growing interest in our culture and traditions.
Tahiti Nui International