The Polynesian Cultural Center is like a mixed-cultural theme park consists of 6 different natives of Hawaii, hailing from the islands of Samoa, Aotearoa, Fiji, Hawaii, Tahiti and Tonga. Daily scheduled activities and island presentations kept us busy throughout the day.
We got there at 3pm and only managed to see 3 of them :
1 - Samoa. Here, a tanned man, rippling with muscles was the main person who joked most of the time. We saw how fire was made and put out, how they are able to climb a coconut tree with agility ....and many others. Mostly, we were told of the simplicity of their daily lifestyle.
2 - Aotearoa - They danced for us. Their music was simple and calming. To my surprise, I heard one very familiar tune and the lyrics, although it's the same as what I know, was sung with their heavy accent. Nevertheless, this song reminded me of my childhood days where we would use two bamboos and danced over it.
3 - Tonga - I guess you could say they specialise in drums (I really don't know the specific name for those big drums, looked more like a giant bongo. Three men from different countries in the audience were picked and they were to imitate the presenter.
We managed to squeeze in some time for a short movie on how the Polynesians came to Hawaii. This was shown in an Imax theatre.
After a buffet style dinner, we settled ourselves down to watch their performances, where each tribe would showcase their different culture. The entire performance was about 2.5 - 3 hours long with a 20 minute intermission break. Out seats were assigned to us according to our ticket number and we were quite far up from the stage.
By the time the show ended, I was half asleep (mainly due to jet lag), even though it was only about 10pm. The 45-minute ride back to the hotel gave us all a chance to snooze to our heart's content.
It was an exhausting but worth-while day for us. The Polynesian Cultural Center is really a must for those visiting Hawaii and wanting to know more about it's origins and culture.