Hawaiian culture: Read. Talk. Hula!

LIHUE — On Wednesday, Kathy Richardson, the granddaughter of one of Kauai Museum’s co-founders, Juliet Rice Wichman, will talk story with a newly organized book club, scheduled to meet monthly at the museum.

“My grandmother is very near and dear to my heart. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about her and the legacy that she has given me,” Richardson said.

The Kauai-born woman said her family was always close. Consequently, she has a treasure trove of memories, including watching the sun rise with her grandmother in Haena while drinking tea from demitasse cups; stirring up Christmas plum pudding from an old English recipe; and making spring mango chutney, a process taught her by her mother.

But during the gathering, Richardson will focus on “Amelia,” a book written by her grandmother. Richardson first read a draft of the book before it was published 35 years ago.

“I was impressed my grandmother could go from historian to fiction writer and tell this beautiful story,” Richardson said.

Pam Chock, book club coordinator, said copies are available to borrow from the Kauai libraries as well as from the museum.

“Amelia” is a love story about a girl growing up on Hawaii.

“Our next title will be ‘Hawaiki Rising’ by Sam Low. He’ll join us through video conference during our meeting at the museum in March,” Chock said.

The book club is coordinated and organized by the Kauai Museum and the Daughters of Hawaii. It will meet from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. The event is free to members of the Kauai Museum and the members of the Daughters of Hawaii.

Following the book club event, Puni Patrick, a new member of the Daughters of Hawaii and a hula teacher for more than 35 years, will be teaching Auwane Hula Dance Class at the museum.

“I love having the opportunity to care for the individuals who come to learn from me and to support them in their everyday lives, in addition to learning the hula basics,” Patrick said. “They are grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters and friends who are responsible for their ohana and to our community.”

Patrick’s classes will be held every Wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. and are also free for members.

“I hope that the Kauai Museum becomes a puuhonua every Wednesday evening and that those who come to learn hula feel welcomed, nurtured and appreciated so that when they leave, they feel they have learned something about their culture and themselves,” Patrick said.

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