When you visit Maui and are welcomed at your location of stay, you can be said you space now part of your ‘ohana. What does the mean? What is the Hawaiian concept of ‘ohana? We room all component of one ‘ohana. . . And usually much more than one! 

(Photo: Hawaii tourism Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson)

The ide of ‘ohana in Hawai’i is based upon something universal: family. For the most part, we all love ours children and also grandchildren. We love our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and also siblings. And also they love us. Possibly the only distinction is that right here in the archipelago we regularly live in the same family or on the same property. As ‘ohana, us all take treatment of each other, and also we raise every other’s children.

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There is one ‘olelo no’eau (Hawaiian saying), “Ka lei hāʻule ʻole, he keiki,” which equates as “A lei the is never cast aside is one’s child.” come illustrate: a favourite lei of many locals is the pakalana. Pakalana is a tiny flower that once strung right into a lei is really beautiful, and the odor of this lei is important wonderful. To wear such a lei makes you feeling special and also brings joy, although, truth be told, periodically the lei can get tangled in your hair, make her neck hot, or obtain in the method when you’re make the efforts to carry out something. But, all we need to do is catch a whiff of the lovely fragrance or glimpse the lei’s beauty, and also we are reminded just just how lucky we are to have it. So the is v our children. Though they may obtain us hot and bothered in ~ times, a little gesture or sweet laugh will eventually remind us just how lucky we space to have them.

A keiki (child) is like a priceless lei roughly your neck. Photo: Polinahe Photography

When it involves ‘ohana in Hawai‘i, the often really hard for others come tell that is actually related by blood and also what the relationships are. And in truth, the really doesn’t issue much here. In the larger generation, family members were occasionally very big so one would have plenty of aunts and uncles. Larger cousins of ours parents’ age are addressed respectfully together “aunty” or “uncle” even though they are technically cousins. Girlfriend of our parents are additionally “aunty” and “uncle.” and the parents of our friends room “aunty” and also “uncle.” together a child, it have the right to be a curse or a blessing to have actually so numerous aunties and uncles looking after ~ you! If you room doing miscellaneous naughty or space somewhere you shouldn’t be, there will certainly likely show up an uncle asking, “Does her dad know you’re here?” yet if you room stranded top top the side of the road, one uncle will quickly be over there to help. Or probably you are at the beach and forgot to carry your lunch. No to worry. . .there will certainly be one aunty surrounding who insists the you eat and also provides what you need.

There is always an Aunty around! Photo: Hawaii travel Authority (HTA)/Tor Johnson

This feeling of extended family is at the heart of Hawaiian ‘ohana. When you bring someone home below to fulfill your family members for the first time, her parents will most absolutely ask, “Who is her father/mother?” followed by “Where is your family from?” The younger generation gets embarrassed as soon as mothers or aunties interrogate a friend. (Then this generation grows up and also finds they have actually turned into their parents and are asking the exact same questions!) however there is a solid desire right here to discover the connection with others, and living on one island there is bound to it is in one. We are all inter-connected, and once the link is found, there is acceptance.

It is really special in Hawai’i the you don’t have to be associated by blood to be taken into consideration ‘ohana. We are associated one to one more in plenty of ways. The lei the brings joy and also makes one feel one-of-a-kind can likewise be a price of family. Every flower, or shell, or kukui seed in the lei is a distinctive individual, bound along with the others. Even if it is the link is by blood or aloha matters not. This is ‘ohana.

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Mahalo to Gayle Miyaguchi, Hawaiian cultural Resource Advisor because that the Ka’anapali beach Hotel, for offering this insightful blog on Hawaiian culture. The Ka’anapali coast Hotel  has long been known as “Hawai‘i’s most Hawaiian hotel” and is highly respected for its meeting to offering an authentic Hawaiian cultural experience for its guests. Once you continue to be there, you will most certainly come to be a component of their ‘ohana.


Happy Travels!

Candy Aluli, Publisher

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(Note: us recognize and also respect the definition of the ‘okina and kahakō markings in the created Hawaiian language; however, we have actually omitted those diacritical markings ~ above our website in stimulate to integrate with the an ext common spellings offered in online searches.)