East Hawaii News

OHA Sponsors Merrie Monarch Broadcasts

April 2, 2015, 8:47 AM HST
* Updated April 2, 8:49 AM
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Getting a ticket to the Merrie Monarch Festival can be almost impossible to achieve. Fortunately, those who are unable to get tickets still have the opportunity to watch the three-day hula competition through television broadcasts in both English and Hawaiian and through an live internet web stream.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has sponsored the regular broadcast for over a decade and continues to do so for the 2015 event. With the television broadcasts and recent addition of the live web stream, both residents, visitors, and those all over the world can watch the annual competition that celebrates Hawaiian culture.

This year, OHA will also sponsor the Hawaiian language broadcast of the live hula competition. According to OHA, the addition is in line with its 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 ‘olelo Hawai’i. “More people speak ‘olelo Hawai’i, and it seemed funny to me that we weren’t doing something with it as far as the Merrie Monarch goes.”

The audio was recorded in Hawaiian beginning in 2013 for the DVD. Individuals who purchased the DVD were able to choose either English or Hawaiian audio. Since the DVD language options were well received, a Hawaiian language version was broadcast live on KFVE-TV in 2014. Viewers who want to watch the broadcast and listen in Hawaiian can do so through the SAP or MTS buttons. Those with cable can change the language in the menu.

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Only the live competitions will be broadcasted in Hawaiian, and not the pre-show.

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