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Forums > Social Chat > Cultural Respect and Names

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Hey all, gots a question for ya!

I am tentatively scheduled to go to Hawaii to perform. This is a good thing.

However, I have watched alot of documentaries and such on Hawaii and know how they hold to tradition, some superstition and many of their cultural history. I have a tremendous amount of respect for that.

Here is the dilemma. Obviously, one of their major dieties is Pele, the Goddess of Volcanoes and Fire.

So....do you think that if I do go there and perform (I will be doing fire eating ~not spinning~ as well as other non-fire sideshow arts), that I should change my stagename out of respect for their culture?
Do you think that my name would be perceived as disrespectful to their history and their beliefs?
I have never ever meant it as such, and it more relates to the volcano on the island of Martinique than anything.

I **really** don't want to alter it at all. I love my name. It is what I have been known by for years, and what I feel comfortable in. I think I have more people who know me by Pele in rl than my real name. I think it fits me better. I do have another performance name if I must.

I am really rather torn here. This could be the beginning of a yearly booking for me and so I don't want to do anything to screw it up.
confused

What do you think? Disrespectful or not?

(Sheesh, maybe I should have called myself Athena and gone to Greece. I don't think I would have this issue then! lol)

Thanks! hug
Pele


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2363
Posted:i just asked my mexican friend Jesus and he said don't worry about it. he even blessed your journey, then gave me some wine and fish.
just tell them you like soccer if they hassle you.


-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Warchild
BRONZE Member since Jan 2004

After 17 hrs i got the little beautie
Location: Sunny Devon, UK

Total posts: 340
Posted:
Hey Pele

Can you not get in touch with the people that are organizing the event and see what they think? Think that is what i would do. These people are gonna have a much better idea on where you stand with the whole tradition thing and respect for their culture. Well i hope they would anyway. Well just a thought.

Hope you manage to sort something out. sorry i wasn't more help peace


A wise man once told me, A friend will bail you outta jail, A great friend will be sitting beside you saying that was f**king awesome.

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gάrbǿ


gάrbǿ

addict
Location: Bristol / London / Norwich / C...

Total posts: 521
Posted:Hey Pele, Well I must admit that is a little bit of a difficult one. If you feel that this may be a bit iffy then i would change, become the spiderblade biggrin.

If you aint sure then you may find yourself stuck in the situation of having to explain yourself, on the other hand some may appreciate the gesture ubblove.

If i were you I would keep the name, as you said, its you, and it is quite appropriate for the occasion wink, I personally dont think that people would

be take it the wrong way ubbangel. Anyway, hope it goes ok, hope your ok, aint spoken to you in AGES.

coolio. cool

garbo tongue


be excellent to each other: safe:

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mech
BRONZE Member since Jun 2003

mech

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: "In your ear"

Total posts: 6207
Posted:i agree i would talk to teh ppl, ask them would they mind if u carried pele?

im sure they will understand and respect you for asking?

surlyet thought if they have seen/spoken/read about you they will knwo ur name is pele?


Step (el-nombrie)

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:what they say..../!\ if they say no just find a temporary alias.

Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Lyra
SILVER Member since Feb 2004

spiny norman
Location: Cincinnati,damn it

Total posts: 314
Posted:there is a good chance that more of the people you will be performing for will be tourists and not natives, in which case the name would be a good thing, but if not it would probaly be a good idea to consider changing it, sorry for being entirely unhelpful, but remember, its never a good idea to anger the locals>much luv

if you think that our kiss was all in the lips, come on you got it all wrong man, and if you think that our dance was all in the hips then, oh well, do the twist -The White Stripes

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Actually two more things to throw in here. I have no contact with the organizer. I am a contract in for a show owner. He is the one dealing with Hawaii.

Secondly, it will be for natives, tourists and anything in between. This is for the Honalulu State Fair which gets more than 50,000 patrons.

I was told by my direct boss to not change my name, because he feels that the notoriety would do the show well (either of my reputation as a performer preceeding me, or of the name itself causing controversy.)

Hmmmmmmmm..........lots to think about. Thanks everyone. I am not so quick to say that I should or shouldn't still. If I have to then I am planning to use the name I use for Burlesque, so either way it comes back to me wink However, I really don't want to offend anyone.

Pele

And garbo!!!!!!!!!!! hug :Kiss: I miss you, you sexy beast! ubblove



Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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Dunc
GOLD Member since Aug 2003

Dunc

playing the days away
Location: The Middle lands

Total posts: 7263
Posted:I don't think it's worth p1ssing off the locals just to get the extra publicity, as besides it may ultimately work against you.
How about making it a double barrel name? You could keep the Pele but add something before or after it, perhaps a Hawaian name for something else such as child, youth, or something generally to show you are not at the spritual level that their Pele is, that you have respect for Pele and are not promoting yourself as the same.
Know what I mean? smile


Let's relight this forum ubblove

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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London

Total posts: 2211
Posted:I think they might take it as a compliment, you could always explain where the inspiration for your name came from.

Besides you are a goddess of fire!

If you are still worried why don't you contact somebody at the Cultural Anthropology department at the University of Hawaii


Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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Kidda


member
Location: Birmingham

Total posts: 60
Posted:It probably wont be that much of a problem just be respectful and apologise if you find you've upset anybody out there. Though for the most part they will probably accept that your from a different culture to theirs and therefore you shouldnt really get much hassle over it.

smile



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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:While you're there, you could ask for the performance itself to be announced as a representation of the fire in their heritage and that you are very honoured to be playing the part of Pele that night. smile

"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Quote:
While you're there, you could ask for the performance itself to be announced as a representation of the fire in their heritage and that you are very honoured to be playing the part of Pele that night. smile



Ahhh, but I am not doing any of the fire in their heritage or history. They do the fire knives, and I will not be doing them. I won't even be doing poi.

The show is not what I think people think it is. It is called a 10-in-1. Ten acts, one show, one stage, alternating as fast as possible to get through it all in just under an hour. And I do three acts and help with at least one more. I don't have alot of time to talk or to do anything other than banter and my act. Then after a 10-15 minute crowd turn-over break, it is done all over again, for multiple hours at a time. It is an extremely traditional sideshow presentation.

However, if someone were to approach me after the show, I would gladly explain.

Kat, that is a great resource and idea! Thank you!

I guess, I should narrow the question down more...How would you feel? There is a diety that plays a huge part in your culture history, right up to today. A performer, not of that culture, steps up with that name and does an entertainment only presentation. How would you feel?

Thanks for giving me so much to think about!
Pele


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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thor


thor

Flaming Lesbian
Location: Portland, Oregon

Total posts: 181
Posted:if you got on stage dressed in a robe, calling yourself Jesus, (or he soose), with a magic act turning water into wine, i'd be somewhat offended.

but i think you'll be fine, since pele (and jesus for that matter) is a fairly common name.


Lights dancing off my skin as chains wrap round it.
Pain is in a little box and I'm so glad I found it.

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne

Total posts: 2830
Posted:Yes Pele, I think u should stick with your stage name. Some will accept it, some might not; it's a risk, but one worth taking.

I would also suggest that if u are concerned about the cultural implications of your stage name, then perhaps u could consider changing it permanently, otherwise stick with the name u grew up with.


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Eera
BRONZE Member since May 2003

old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay

Total posts: 1107
Posted:Wear a Brazil strip and periodically chant "Yay for soccer!"

No one group of people have an exclusive right to a bunch of letters, no matter what the implications.

It's something of a tradition in Hawaii that hikers and heli-tourists throw a bottle of rum (or gin, or something that strips your tonsils down) into the crater of Mauna Loa as an offering to Pele. How many people actually believe what they're doing, and how many do it because it's cute? I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the locals actively encourage this and don't take offence at outsiders partaking of their traditions.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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Prometheus


Prometheus

Diamond In The Rough
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Total posts: 459
Posted:Just a thought, but surely there are a multitude of performers in Hawaii. Do you have any way of finding out how many of them use names of local dieties? Here in America we have Jesus & Mary Chain, Godsmack, and the like... Nobody seems to care about their usage of sacred names.

Plus I agree with the promoters idea of notoriety. Whether you impress everyone, or offend a few, you're name will be remembered, and if nothing else, will generate controversy, which is usually more good than bad in the show biz (...no such thing as bad press...)

You're not naming yourself for shock value, or to denigrate Her image in any way, so I say keep it. It's familiar to them, and you're familiar with it. I know how much your name affects both your performance and your 'in-charater' persona. Could you really eat fire as "Maggie?" Dont' even think it....

Besides, if halfway through your performance, molten lava destroys the stage, you'll know you've done wrong... tongue


Dance like it hurts; Love like you need money; Work like someone is watching.

Never criticize someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes. That way, when you DO criticize them, you are a mile away, and you have their shoes.

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Lyra
SILVER Member since Feb 2004

spiny norman
Location: Cincinnati,damn it

Total posts: 314
Posted:if you feel you would feel more comfortable performing under the name Pele then definately hold on to it, oh, honolulu state fair, that should be fun, i love state fairs....much luv

if you think that our kiss was all in the lips, come on you got it all wrong man, and if you think that our dance was all in the hips then, oh well, do the twist -The White Stripes

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Quote:
Could you really eat fire as "Maggie?" Dont' even think it....



I laughed my arse off when I read this! That is scary and humorous, and I admit, I did think about it for a moment as a comedy skit to be sure! It would be funny, but the tooth black would kill it working methinks. For those who don't know, "Maggie" is a homeless matchgirl I played for years at another show. Not the most attractive character ever! lol

Quote:
Besides, if halfway through your performance, molten lava destroys the stage, you'll know you've done wrong... tongue



Might make for a neat effect for a ****really**** short while.


Eera, that is true, but also concider how the natives sell to tourists lava rocks, when the legend says they should not be removed from the island or bad luck will come to you. I watched a documentary where a man from the parks dept there said they get hundreds upon hundreds of the lava rocks sent back to them each year because people feel it gave them bad luck. Sometimes I think (and this is true for many, many places) the natives just like to make fools of the unsuspecting tourists.

So...Here is what I am going to do..... I am going to perform under Pele. I like her, I know her, over the years I am slowly turning into her *g*. If I am asked to change it once down there, then I will. I will explain it as well, to anyone who asks. So here's to hoping. The entire thing is going to be a new experience for me. The set-up. There is another performer, more known than I in the industry, and we are going to be assistants for one another...so the fact that I have this super respected, widely popular performer for my assistant freaks me out....all in all, it is a great opportunity. Plus I get to spend enough time there to take lessons and try all sorts of stuff!

Thanks all! I really appreciate the help!
hug ubblove kiss
Pele


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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