The invite said come in something “Hawaiian”. Naturally, I made an entrance in black-blue pin-striped slacks, a black sweater, black charole moccasins and pitch black shades. Because.
The Grade 4-5 kids swaying to “Surfing USA” did a great job. And the Grade 1-2 pupils skipping to Sebastian’s “Under the Sea” in costumes of different sea creatures was the most adorable sight to behold. But as I sat in the audience, amidst a sea of neon-pink/apple-green wrap-arounds, and the most unfortunate collection of plastic flower headdresses mankind had ever seen, watching other grades perform, I was stumped with many very difficult questions.
– Can allowing school kids watch 40-ish mommies, with their tummy rolls jiggling over their grass skirts, gyrate to the tune of “Hawaii Five-0”, be considered child abuse in a court of law? Will school-funded trauma counselling be available, at the very least, for the children of the performing PTAers? [Not likely. On both counts.]
– How could teachers miss that valuable cultural learning opportunity: Neither Gloria Estefan’s “Conga” nor reggae music elicit visions of the Pacific islands? [Kids, Hawaii here. Carribean there.]
– Is it fair to intro with an homage to the beautiful indegenous flora of Hawaii, then segue to high school kids slithering to the tune of “Bulaklak” by the Sex Bomb dancers? [Natives of the island state might protest.]
Veeery difficult questions, I say.