On May 5th, the Roots Program, KVIBE, and the Towers at Kuhio Park were honored to host our first Kalihi Stories Day. Community members young and old gathered at the Mala O Kaluaopalena Community Garden to hear stories of Kalihi from Kalihi residents, storytellers, poets, and kumu. Attendees sampled an ono array of food from the Roots Program, including steamed fish with coconut milk, ulu cakes with basil aioli, green papaya and nasturtium salad, and sugar cane juice - all incorporating produce grown right in the community garden.
Thanks so much to our storytellers: Kanoa O'Connor, who told a mo'olelo of Kane and Kanaloa; Uncle Martin, who took us through eight decades of memories in Kalihi; Joshua Noga for telling us about his youth in Kalihi's public housing and how it shaped his passion for food justice; and Jesse Lipman for his energizing poem about his Kalihi neighbors and the deep connections we form and express through food. Thanks also to Bernice, Akamu, Kau'i, Jordan, Malia, and the staff from Roots and KVIBE who made this event possible with all their hard work.
Stories, like food, are at the heart of who we are. Both reflect our origins, life histories, and values. It's so important to make time to hear and share stories so that we can better understand these aspects of each other, and we're grateful to everyone who supported this event for recognizing that import. Mahalo everyone!