For well over a decade, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs has sponsored the television broadcast, and more recently the worldwide live web stream, of the Merrie Monarch Festival hula competition. This allows everyone in Hawai’i and across the globe to tune in to the annual celebration of Hawaiian culture. This year the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is pleased to announce that it will also sponsor the Hawaiian language broadcast of the live hula competition. This is in line with OHA’s strategic priority to preserve, practice and perpetuate the Hawaiian culture.
“Merrie Monarch is a big factor as far as reviving mele and chants, and inspiring people to speak the language,” said Roland Yamamoto, executive producer of the Merrie Monarch broadcasts in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i. “More people speak ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, and it seemed funny to me that we weren’t doing something with it as far as the Merrie Monarch goes.” So the obvious next step was to broadcast in Hawaiian.
In 2013 the audio in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i was recorded solely for the DVD. People who purchased the DVD could choose English or Hawaiian audio. It was so well received that in 2014 they broadcast live on KFVE-TV with host Hiapo Perreira, associate professor of Hawaiian Language and Literature University of Hawai‘i-Hilo narrating. Viewers watch the same broadcast but change the language with the SAP (Secondary Audio Program) or MTS (Multi Track Sound) buttons on many television remotes. On
cable remotes, language is changed in the menu.
This year, Perreira will again host accompanied by his co-host and wife Hanakahi Perreira, Hawaiian language teacher at Kamehameha Schools.
The pre-show is not broadcast in Hawaiian, but the live competitions will be.