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Kava Cultures

_byron

Kava Enthusiast
Really love what you said here about the pacific island themed kava bars. I think it's a really difficult line to toe -- on one hand you want to celebrate their culture and the root they've shared with us; on the other hand you don't want to offend or make light of by misusing pacific icons or words. Personally, I think we can benefit more from adopting, or at least partially adopting, their traditions rather than making our own. The reason I love the traditions on the islands is that they create community and instill values of peace that is often missing from American culture. We could learn a lot from them.

I do think though, that the idea of kava has benefited me immensely, potentially more-so than the root itself. It's helped me to take a step back in life by learning to assess my moods proactively rather than reactively, to become close friends with many folks on the forums and in person, and has helped give me a bit of solace whenever I need it. Just the ritual alone of squeezing a bag of kava is somewhat religious to me, as a time to reflect and not be affected by outside influences. There's no anxiety for me that there is for so many of our neighbors like, "Am I drinking too much?", "Will I become addicted?", "Will I throw my life away for a substance?", "How will this affect my family?". Kava, its prep, and the community has been a constant source of calm in a sea of chaos that is the world, and for that I think it needs a different respect that mainstream American culture just doesn't quite get.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, @_byron . Would love to hear more about why you think we should create our own kava culture.
When island dope just got put on the market so many people lashed at the name. In Samoa strong kava is called dope... So what if krunk has a throw back to alcohol. Same as so what island dope is a name of a kava blend.

Our own kava culture needs to be tied to our traditions and practices. We are not being inaugurated into a culture by just drinking kava.

An example of this would be if I opened an African restaurant in Minneapolis, and themed it all as if I was from the culture not just offering foods from there in a modern setting. If I was serving African food and themed the restaurant traditionally..... I think you could imagine the outlash.

That being said I do agree with your outlook as well. I think maintaining some traditions is healthy, and appropriate but should be adopted to fit the U.S. culture. Hence why I think krunk is okay.
 
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fait

Position 5 Hard Support
Kava, its prep, and the community has been a constant source of calm in a sea of chaos that is the world, and for that I think it needs a different respect that mainstream American culture just doesn't quite get.

Thanks for sharing your opinion, @_byron . Would love to hear more about why you think we should create our own kava culture.
I find a similar sense of tranquility with making tea. I haven't done traditional kava prep lately and I kinda want to do some soon. Sitting at the table kneading kava is its own therapy.
 

krunkgod

Kava Enthusiast
When island dope just got put on the market so many people lashed at the name. In Samoa strong kava is called dope... So what if krunk has a throw back to alcohol. Same as so what island dope is a name of a kava blend.

Our own kava culture needs to be tied to our traditions and practices. We are not being inaugurated into a culture by just drinking kava.

An example of this would be if I opened an African restaurant in Minneapolis, and themed it all as if I was from the culture not just offering foods from there in a modern setting. If I was serving African food and themed the restaurant traditionally..... I think you could imagine the outlash.

That being said I do agree with your outlook as well. I think maintaining some traditions is healthy, and appropriate but should be adopted to fit the U.S. culture. Hence why I think krunk is okay.
The only issue being, dope is what heroin is called in the US. I think thats why you saw people outraged a bit. All you need is for the media to start calling it "herbal heroin" or something.
 

Zaphod

Kava Lover
When island dope just got put on the market so many people lashed at the name. In Samoa strong kava is called dope... So what if krunk has a throw back to alcohol. Same as so what island dope is a name of a kava blend.
To be fair it was not just the name that many objected to. The claims of high KL% and testing were pretty suspect and their own marketing of it.
 

Gourmet Hawaiian Kava

Kava Expert
Kava Vendor
I agree totally and will open the pandoras box to quote you- "...bolster the image that kava is not alcohol, it won't ever be alcohol, and it deserves a culture of respect for something that stands uniquely on its own". And ask- what is "krunk" of not a throw-back to drunk?
I am with you Alia, I never really liked the term Krunked, it is too much like drunk and I never wanted kava to be likened to alcohol. Kava does deserve respect for all that it does for kava lovers all over the world. I just wish kava was easy to obtain all over the world. It is hard to believe that there are still places that restrict kava.
Now instead of krunked we can be "Listening to the kava" talk to us. She sounds kind of like a ringing and palm trees swaying in the wind.
Kava is great stuff, enjoy kava. Got Kava? Drink it!
Aloha.

Chris
 

Zaphod

Kava Lover
I am with you Alia, I never really liked the term Krunked, it is too much like drunk and I never wanted kava to be likened to alcohol. Kava does deserve respect for all that it does for kava lovers all over the world. I just wish kava was easy to obtain all over the world. It is hard to believe that there are still places that restrict kava.
Now instead of krunked we can be "Listening to the kava" talk to us. She sounds kind of like a ringing and palm trees swaying in the wind.
Kava is great stuff, enjoy kava. Got Kava? Drink it!
Aloha.

Chris
I never minded it so much - but I get the point. However, I think it is useful for a term to describe that point where you have had a lot of kava. Not quite to the nausea or uncomfortable, but beyond normal functioning. Rooted seems to down to earth, Kavafied has been taken, Shelled maybe?
 

AlexisReal

Kava Enthusiast
Guys, excuse me if this sounds dopey and uninformed, but to me a very important and beneficial aspect to a good number of kava drinkers, is the fact they have stooped depending on much more toxic intakes like alcohol and more, with physical addictiins and withdrawal.....


But Kava has offered not just a safe, helpful way to endure uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms for some, but ceftainly for most kava offers a way to live a far healthier, more controlled, natural lifestyle, without any real side effects with proper use, and most importantly no actual physical dependency process to negotiate. This is huge.

So I just wanted to point out that to me me a part of the kava culture is serving in a very positive sense to relieve people of other far more harmful and true addictions.
 

AlexisReal

Kava Enthusiast
I never minded it so much - but I get the point. However, I think it is useful for a term to describe that point where you have had a lot of kava. Not quite to the nausea or uncomfortable, but beyond normal functioning. Rooted seems to down to earth, Kavafied has been taken, Shelled maybe?
Lol, I can still, right now, keep both eyes open comfortably while I type that has actually become a good marker point for me when I have had significantly too much kava.

50 grams, spread over the day, has me beautifully relaxed and happy.

I don't always appreciate being non functional from too much kava accidentally on occasion. Can't walk or eat but resting and music is fantastic.

Vision can be ultra blurry and colourful too. I try to avoid that level of kava intixication, but I do push it though no because I am a natural lover of a very strong effect from any psychoactive substance and longer lasting anti-anxiety effects especially, with certain of kava's effects being quite short-lived..
 

kasa_balavu

Yaqona Dina
I agree totally and will open the pandoras box to quote you- "...bolster the image that kava is not alcohol, it won't ever be alcohol, and it deserves a culture of respect for something that stands uniquely on its own". And ask- what is "krunk" of not a throw-back to drunk?
I think terminology is important, and would love to see "krunk" abandoned.

There's a good lesson IMO in the case of a rule that they have in the largest online community of kratom users:

"Damaging Terminology
We focus on kratom as a therapeutic botanical supplement, please refer to it as such. No "drug culture" terminology/slang. Certain words are used as triggers for those who wish to demonize all botanicals & psychoactive substances so terms like "high" and "buzz" are prohibited in reference to kratom (in any context) and just call kratom, "kratom" - not k, kray, kratt, etc."


As a botanical that is under much greater threat than kava, it's interesting to see the steps that community takes to distance their favoured botanical from less socially-acceptable substances.

As for the greater point that started this thread, I feel that the legal-high industry has co-opted the kava "brand". I mean, there are kava bars that try to provide a more traditional experience (Modernesian Kava Social, Bula Kava House, Melo Melo, Bula Kava Hayward, etc), but the majority of bars are just going to end up catering to the legal-high crowd.

There's a chain of bars called "Kava Culture". The menu on their website lists Kava and a mysterious "Elixir", but it's quite interesting (in light of this discussion thread) to read some of their Yelp reviews.
Two cherry-picked examples:
A: "I love Kava, have been drinking it for several years however anyone that drinks kava knows that is it's almost entirely about the experience. The people working there are just as important as what you drink. The people working at this location don't care to be there; don't embody the culture and, usually high or on their phones"
B: "Relaxing, calm and cool place to hang out! Went here for the first time today because I was interested in this "kava" I've been hearing about. Elliot was very knowledgeable on both kava and Kratom. I ended up drinking Kratom mixed with kombucha"

Most Americans have never tried kava, and their first experience with it is going to be in one of these kratom bars. That's unfortunate, IMO, but it is what it is.
 

Skinskava

70-80 g to 1 Liter-Day Dreamer- My Roots Run Deep-
Am i the only one that likes kava in solitude? I would never partake in kava bar atmosphere. I appreciate it and it opens the door for those who otherwise would never shell up... but for me kava is way too spiritual for that setting. Im a kava warrior
 
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TheKavaFlow

Kava Enthusiast
Kava Podcaster
I find it interesting to compare 2 kava bars on Big island Hawaii one in kona and one in hilo. They are somehow different.
I went back in February and the one in Kona is far more of a touristy party atmosphere, while the one in Hilo was actually closed. I did go to Uncle Robert's, though, which was definitely a better experience and vibe.
 

Alia

'Awa Grower/Collector
I think terminology is important, and would love to see "krunk" abandoned.

There's a good lesson IMO in the case of a rule that they have in the largest online community of kratom users:

"Damaging Terminology
We focus on kratom as a therapeutic botanical supplement, please refer to it as such. No "drug culture" terminology/slang. Certain words are used as triggers for those who wish to demonize all botanicals & psychoactive substances so terms like "high" and "buzz" are prohibited in reference to kratom (in any context) and just call kratom, "kratom" - not k, kray, kratt, etc."


As a botanical that is under much greater threat than kava, it's interesting to see the steps that community takes to distance their favoured botanical from less socially-acceptable substances.

As for the greater point that started this thread, I feel that the legal-high industry has co-opted the kava "brand". I mean, there are kava bars that try to provide a more traditional experience (Modernesian Kava Social, Bula Kava House, Melo Melo, Bula Kava Hayward, etc), but the majority of bars are just going to end up catering to the legal-high crowd.

There's a chain of bars called "Kava Culture". The menu on their website lists Kava and a mysterious "Elixir", but it's quite interesting (in light of this discussion thread) to read some of their Yelp reviews.
Two cherry-picked examples:
A: "I love Kava, have been drinking it for several years however anyone that drinks kava knows that is it's almost entirely about the experience. The people working there are just as important as what you drink. The people working at this location don't care to be there; don't embody the culture and, usually high or on their phones"
B: "Relaxing, calm and cool place to hang out! Went here for the first time today because I was interested in this "kava" I've been hearing about. Elliot was very knowledgeable on both kava and Kratom. I ended up drinking Kratom mixed with kombucha"

Most Americans have never tried kava, and their first experience with it is going to be in one of these kratom bars. That's unfortunate, IMO, but it is what it is.
Very good to point this out @kasa_balavu and it may be that others who are being introduced to kava or researching it's many cultural forms at least begin by understanding the way the inventors of this plant view it's uses, and respect the history. Unique and apart from alcohol.
 

Michael Nielsen

Kava Enthusiast
I went back in February and the one in Kona is far more of a touristy party atmosphere, while the one in Hilo was actually closed. I did go to Uncle Robert's, though, which was definitely a better experience and vibe.
I was there in the beginning of february The the kava bar in hilo had moved over the street.
 
So are the Kava bars more about sheer consumption, getting wrecked and using other substances in general or is it more like unique to a certain area the bars are in?
 

Krunʞy

Rooted @ 40g
Admin
So are the Kava bars more about sheer consumption, getting wrecked and using other substances in general or is it more like unique to a certain area the bars are in?
None of the above, the only thing a kava bar has in common with a bar is the name itself. Typically they are mellow lounges where people gather to drink kava, getting wrecked is not the point.
 
Ahh okay. Just the op was saying that some of the Kava bars were more about how much you drink etc. The whole culture thing fascinates me, Kava has such a rich history!
 
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