U.S. President Barack Obama today introduced Hawaii’s luau tradition to the APEC delegates at the host performance and cultural program at Hale Koa Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii.
At the cultural program, President Obama said luau is one tradition that they did not want to break in Hawaii.
“Here in Hawaii, there is a traditional gathering that we call luau, and it’s basically an excuse for a good party, and it’s used for every occasion. We have birthday luaus and graduation luaus. And now we have APEC luaus. And there is – somebody is ready to party already.” -President Obama
He said two years ago, when he was in Singapore and it was announced that United States would be hosting the APEC Summit in Honolulu, he promised that all delegated have to wear aloha shirts or grass skirts.
“But I was persuaded by our team to perhaps break tradition, and so we have not required you to wear your aloha shirts, although I understand that a few of you have tried them on for size, and we may yet see you in them in the next several days.” -President Obama
He said they will have music, song and celebration. He said they will have hula dancing. He added that they will have some wonderful examples of traditional Polynesian dance and music and song as well.
“And it will capture, I think, the extraordinary spirit of these islands, but also capture, I think, the spirit in which I hope we proceed in our important work during the course of this APEC Summit.” -President Obama
He stressed that all are bound together by an ocean. He said they are bound together by a common belief and a common concern for their people – their aspirations, their hopes, their dreams.
“And so I hope that all of you feel the extraordinary spirit of Hawaii and very much look forward to a wonderful set of meetings tomorrow.” – President Obama