Informal Session: Kava: A Global Phenomenon?
Organizers: Jonathan D. Baker and Apo Aporosa
This informal session is the continuation of a conversation that began in a working session at the 2019 ASAO meeting, which considered the degree to which kava has become a global phenomenon. Two decades ago, Lebot, Merlin & Lindstrom (1992) predicted a time when kava would become a “world drug”. Since then, there has been a rapid growth of kava bars in the USA, venues that mimic small nightclubs and licensed cafes, which attract customers seeking to destress with an alternative to alcohol. Likewise, there have recently been pop-culture and online claims that kava is “officially trending”. However, such reports fail to include the growth of private kava venues in previously unimagined places like France, China, India and the UK, where diasporic Pacific communities embrace their traditional substance as part of cultural continuance, or as a means of engaging with their local (host) communities. This informal session will further explore contemporary kava themes, ranging from its use in the Pacific today, to kava’s diverse manifestations in ever-changing contexts around the world. In addition, this session will take advantage of the 2020 ASAO meeting’s Hawai`i venue to include voices from Hawai`i who were unable to participate in the 2019 meeting last year.
Jonathan D. Baker, Chaminade University of Honolulu, <email@example.com>
Apo Aporosa, University of Waikato University, New Zealand, <firstname.lastname@example.org>