And so our Tea Explorer documentary of mountains, memories and leaves opened at the Hawaiian International Film Festival. With salty air and warm sun above, a sold out audience joined us on a journey through the beloved Himalayas. Hawaii with its Asian links tea-love seems a perfect place to screen, lying as it does smack in the middle of so many cultures that relate not only to tea, but to the earth, the stories and the plant world. Here too the tradition of oral narratives is strong and not at all something foreign. Elders are as esteemed as they are in the world of the Tea Horse Road, and stories abound during meals, drinks and walks.
Some tea is served before the screening with friends, and off we go…
During a question and answer period after the film screening, there was much discussion about the concept of “time and tea” and how very vital rituals were to simply slow it all down and recalibrate. The Tea Explorer doc at its heart explores not only a trade route that pre-dates the Silk Road, it explores the origins of tea and the relationships that it fostered (and maintained) over its 1300 years of buzzing tea-fuelled history.
One question dealt with the importance of listening (an often-understated skill). Tea time is about that concept of taking time to take time. The leaves need time to be made and served. Nothing is hurried and this in turn tones down time and its fleeting moments.
Some closing thoughts and thanks. The film will show on Hawai’i’s Big Island on the evening of November 18th.