The Beginning
Twice a year our Kumu Hula Roselle Bailey comes to Mauss near Berne to teach us hula. The classes take place in the Restaurant Sternen, run by Beat Wisler and Maik Hoppler. About one year ago Roselle and Jim her husband, came up with the idea that we could organize a hula-evening in Mauss to show our gratitude to Beat and Maik for their cooperative and very friendly way of taking care of us during the past years. Shortly after the idea is presented to Beat and Maik, a date is set and things start rolling. Roselle sends three cookbooks with Polinesian recipies and helps us to put together our dancing programme. Beat will create a three course Polinesian buffet out of his new cookbooks. We organize ourselves for practicing, practicing, practicing.

The Day
Beautiful sunshine wakes us up Saturday morning. The weather is stunning and stable – it is hot and dry, which is certainly not obvious in Switzerland! After breakfast in the garden we start making the flower leis and then later meet the rest of the group at the Sternen, where there is more practicing, organizing and defining our outdoor “dancefloor”, practicing to walk in and out of stage, installing microphones and music etc. etc. It’s fun and at the same time there is a lot of concentration and focus and increasing nervousness and excitement.

The Performance
Beat and Maik serve us some food early so when the first guests arrive we’re ready to go and get dressed and prepared. – Then: time to perform! – After greeting the guests and giving a short parodie on what Hula is NOT for us (f.e. coconut bra, plastic raffia skirt, hulahoop ring etc.) we approach with Oli Huaka’i and get on “stage” with Ho’opuka, followed by E Pele A E Pele La, Ula Noweo and Anapau Kahiko. Our guests are impressed, there is a lot of applause. The backstage is fantastic with the soft reddish light of the setting sun. We’re happy and also relieved that apart from a few mistakes everything went so well. It feels as if we had been on stage for just a few minutes.

After a most delicious main buffet course we get ourselves prepared for the Auana part. This time we approach the stage chatting, laughing and humming. We dance Beautiful Kaua’i, Nani Ka Ala, Ka’ililauokekoa and This is Hawai’i. The ambiance is wonderful, the fading light extraordinary. We finish our programme with Ka Uluwehi O Ke Kai and Puamana as Hanahous. It is getting quite dark, the audience is clapping enthusiastically. We leave stage with our Swiss song S’ isch mir alles ei Ding… To show our gratitude to Beat and Maik we give them two flower leis.

It was a unique experience in a beautiful place. We are full of deep impressions and gratitude that everything went so well. It was well worth the effort and work. Many thanks to the ancestors and spirits of this place and Hawai’i as well as to everybody who contributed to this wonderful event. We would like to give our special thanks to Roselle, our Kumu Hula. Her very professional teaching – a mixture of severe, serious work, great humour, a lot of patience combined with deep profound knowledge and wisdom – makes learning and dancing a very enjoyable challenge! And of course thanks to all of the group for all the focus, fun and kokua! Many thanks also to our male supporters, Jim, Rolf, Gérard and Markus. What would we do without them and their loving support, great ideas, helping hands, creative actions, gourmet art, solid backstage work etc. etc.? And last but not least: thanks again to all the guests for coming and giving us the chance to share with them our passion for hula, kokua, for moving and growing as individuals as well as group, for overcoming limiting patterns, for dancing on in life.

Mahalo nui loa! Lis and Christina