By Daniel Lee Floren
HONOLULU—Being the new kid in town isn’t always easy. Even in Hawaii’s “melting pot.” Bubbling over with cultures from around the Pacific and the world, which have sculpted the Islands into what it is today, there are often unfortunate barriers that make it difficult for new neighbors to fit in.
And yet, it’s often the newest generation of residents most eager to make a lasting impression. There is a Micronesian community has grown dramatically over the past years—there are over 8,000 Micronesians living in Hawaii today with new residents from Chuuk, the Marshall Islands, Palau, and quite a few other Micronesian islands.
In order to present a positive picture of the Micronesian community, the 2011 All Mike Women’s Volleyball Tournament, the Micronesian Health Advisory Coalition, and the Micronesian Community Network through the All Mike Sports Tournaments are working hard to challange any negative stereotypes.
“There are so many negative things said about our people,” says Inno Sound-Kikku, co-organizer of the tournament. “We want to show we are good people. Our kids are talented and we try our best to do well in the community.”
Sound-Kikku says the purpose of the tournament is to get people to start keeping a healthy consciousness of self, family, community, and land.
“This is the second time our community has come together as a whole unified Micronesia,” said Sound-Kikku. “We want to show the stereotypes are not representative of our community. We are good, generous people, ours kids are talented and we have a lot to share. ”
Aside from the volloeyball, guest speakers educate participants on important health topics for family and community wellness. As women are the primary caretakers of the family in Micronesian culture, it starts with them. But also, it’s to promote health in the entire community as well as the chance to showcase their culture and values to the general public.
After an initial pool of 12 teams, which competed in a round robin-style competition, the tournament is comprised of the final four remaining teams with players originally from Chuuk, Palau, and the Marshall Islands. There will be two playoff games to determine the eventual teams for the championship game.
And even after the championship game ends, the entertainment does not.
“After the games, there will be a lot of island entertainment and performances,” said Sound-Kikku. “There will be an awards ceremony for the gold, silver, and bronze medal winners along with cultural songs and dances. We want to highlight the talents of our young adult community members.”
Sponsored by Pacific CEED, MHAC, MCN, KKV and NYPA Hawaii, the tournament will be hosted at the Neil Blaisdell Arena at 10:00 a.m.. Tickets cost $5. For more information, click here.
2011 All Mike Women’s Volleyball Tournament.
Saturday, July 30 at 10:00 a.m.
$5 (available by Ticketmaster)
Neal Blaisdell Arena