Mahalo

(noun-transitive verb

1. Thanks, gratitude; to thank.

2. Admiration, praise, esteem, regards, respects; to admire, praise, appreciate.)

We appreciate—and admire—you. And we celebrated Hawaiian-style at Optimal’s 2009 Luau Open House Event. Thank you for attending and making it such a fun party! Be sure to check out pictures from the event here!

Click below to find out more about the wonderful luau tradition!

About the Wonderful Luau Tradition

Before contact with the western world, Hawaiians called their important feasts an ‘aha ‘aina (gathering for a meal). These feasts marked special occasions — such as reaching a significant life milestone, the launching of a new canoe or a great endeavor. During these events, the Hawaiians took time to honor their many Gods and to share their bounty with friends and family. It was a time for recognition, celebration, story telling, and fun. It was a time to give thanks to family, friends, and guests from other cultures, and to celebrate life.
Historically, the food and practices observed at an ‘aha ‘aina were rich with symbolism and the entire event was designed to unite the participants, similar to the way the old Hawaiians braided strands of coconut husk fiber, or sennit, into thicker ‘aha cords and rope. The event was meant as a way to unite those who participated in it. Each food eaten at the celebration had a meaning. Some foods represented strength or courage, while others were indicative of other goal, virtues, or aspirations that participants were seeking to obtain/achieve.
Starting about 150 years ago the term luau gradually replaced ‘aha ‘aina. Luau, in Hawaiian and other Polynesian languages, is actually the name of the taro leaf, which when young and small is cooked like spinach and is often mixed with other foods, creating Hawaiian favorites such as luau squid or luau chicken; but today, luau is the commonly accepted name of a Hawaiian feast.

“Whenever you’re at a luau, you are ‘ohana — family.”

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