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Li Hing Mui Pineapples, Banana & Pineapple Panikeke, PieAM, Pasifika Voices, & One Love Oceana

December 4, 2010

This cold Los Angeles winter (as cold as Southern California can get) makes me nostalgic of living in the islands, in the tropical expanse of the Pacific Ocean.  I suspect that it is no coincidence that tonight, only 3 weeks away from Christmas, the Pacific Islander Ethnic Art Museum (PieAM) and Cal State University Long Beach’s Pacific Islanders Association have organized Pasifika Voice 2010, an annual evening showcase of spoken word, live art, music, and dance.  Hopefully, that also includes lots of food and waves of Pacific Islanders, so that we can cultivate community, reminisce and create memories, share hopes for the future of Oceania, and cuddle up to keep each other warm.  But maybe I should come more prepared for just warmth, because Pasifika Voice actually sounds like it’s gonna be fiiiire!

Pasifika voice is gonna be fiiiire!

Aside from my personal experience and solidarity with the Pacific Islander community, my other connections to Pasifika Voice 2010 include loving the newly-opened PieAM and supporting my Bay Area friends who are performing, One Love Oceania (OLO).

PieAM = Long Beach's new treasure

When PieAM opened in mid-October 2010, I checked it out and immediately considered it Long Beach’s new secret treasure.  According to its website,

PIEAM’s mission is to generate interest in these diverse cultures and educate its varied audiences by bringing the beauty and culture of Pacific Island ethnic art to Southern California. PIEAM stays true to the heritage of the Pacific Islands, highlighting all forms of Pacific Island ethnic art.

Dilukai Gamble figure in PieAm's outdoor sculpture garden

The museum includes an outdoor sculpture garden that showcases treasures such as the Dilukai Gamble figure shown above.  Here is the accompanying info about this particular sculpture:

sculpture info

PieAM is the first museum dedicated to Pacific Island art and culture in the United States.  It is located on 695 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, CA 90802.  You can visit it online at pieam.org.

Me @ the grand opening of PieAM

During the grand opening weekend, there was also a booth fair, including a Samoan food booth, where I bought and enjoyed some panikeke (which are like pancake balls) and li hing mui pineapples.  I found a recipe for panikeke (click here), although the 1 that I tasted had banana and pineapple mini-chunks inside (separately in 2 different panikeke).  I loved the pineapple panikeke!

Panikeke (spherical food on right) & li hing mui pineapple (in plastic bag on the left)

Now, the li hing mui pineapple can be made by cutting up some pineapple into chunks and spreading li hing mui powder all over them.  Li hing mui is salty dried plum.  In Chinese, it means “traveling plum” from “li hing” (“traveling”) and mui (“plum”).  Used widely in Asia and Hawaii, lihing mui tastes sweet, sour, and salty.  It combined perfectly with the pineapple’s sweet flavor.

Li hing mui pineapple

I look forward to this spectacular show, also because some of my friends will be performing as part of the Bay Area-based queer artist collective, One Love Oceana (OLO).  I’ve attended OLO’s San Francisco shows before (click here for an OLO introductory video), in which they use theater to explore “the intersections of queerness, family, and Pacific Islander diasporic activism.”  Tonight’s OLO performers will be all women: Terisa Siagatonu, Michelle Kaonohikaimana, Jean Melesaine, Erica Nalani Benton, Loa Niumeitolu, Madeline Alefosio, and Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu.

One Love Oceana (OLO)

One of the performers tonight is Jamaica Osorio, who has performed at the White House before as a spoken word artist.  Check out this video:

Here is more info about the show tonight:

The Pacific Island Ethnic Art Museum (PIEAM) and the CSULB Pacific Islanders Association are partnering with Pac Biz invite you to Pasifika Voice, an annual spoken word event featuring renowned spoken word artists:

• Jamaica Osorio
• Kiana Fuega
• Dan Taulapapa McMullin
• Kahlee
• Peni Falealili
• Maile Arvin
• DannyBoy Veevalu and Chris Fa’atolo
and
• One Love Oceania (Terisa Siagatonu, Michelle Kaonohikaimana, Jean Melesaine, Erica Nalani Benton, Loa Niumeitolu, Madeline Alefosio, and Fuifuilupe Niumeitolu)

PLUS! Pacific Island contemporary art exhibition, live art pieces by JP of jppacificoriginals, live music, and a modern dance performance by the award-winning Nonosina.

TICKETS (Pre-Sale Ends 12/1!) Limited seating available!

Students: $10 Pre-Sale, $15 At the Door
PIEAM Members: $18 Pre-Sale, $25 At the Door
General Admission: $22 Pre-Sale, $30 At the Door

To purchase your tickets, visit http://www.pieam.org/spokenword

PASIFIKA VOICE ART EXHIBITION
For the first time, this annual event will include a Pacific Island contemporary art exhibit! The Pasifika Voice Art Exhibition aims to create a space for Pacific Island contemporary art, an often overlooked and underappreciated expression of our culture. Visit http://www.pieam.org/spokenwordexhibition for more info.

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