Imagine what is once was like to bake bread and churn butter without the modern wonder of electricity.
Island Sotheby’s International Realty agent Ricardo Ralha, R(S) knows exactly what that’s like. Ralha was recently part of an event held by the Portuguese Association of Maui, which sought to teach Maui’s keiki the traditional way of baking bread and churning butter without electricity.
The event, however, was about more than just teaching the historical techniques of baking bread in a stone oven. Instead, Ralha and the other members were using the activity as a way to preserve and celebrate the history of Portuguese people in Hawai’i.
“The Portuguese Association of Maui wants to raise awareness that Portuguese culture is still alive on the island,” said Ralha. “And they have a lot of history here.”
Ralha, who speaks fluent Portuguese, moved to Maui several years ago and quickly got involved with the Portuguese clubs on island. Originally from the east coast, Ralha, who is Portuguese and a first generation American, spent summers on his family farm in Portugal.
Because of his family's rich history, he jumped to get involved in preserving the culture of the Portuguese people on Maui. A big part of that, he said, is encouraging the younger generations of Maui residents to learn about their heritage.
Besides events like the bread-baking workshop, the Portuguese Association of Maui also hosts festivals and provides scholarships for Maui’s students. His goal, as well as the goal of the group, is to bridge the gap between Maui's younger residents and the older generation to actively promote the culture and traditions.