When you visit Maui and are invited at your place of remain, you might be told you are now component of their ‘ohana. What does that mean? What is the Hawaiian idea of ‘ohana? We are all component of an ‘ohana. . . and usually even more than one! 

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

The principle of ‘ohana in Hawai’i is based upon somepoint universal: family members. For the the majority of part, we all love our youngsters and grandyoungsters. We love our parental fees, grandparental fees, aunts and uncles and also siblings. And they love us. Perhaps the just difference is that right here in the islands we often live in the very same household or on the exact same home. As ‘ohana, we all take care of each other, and we raise each other’s youngsters.

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There is an ‘olelo no’eau (Hawaiian saying), “Ka lei hāʻule ʻole, he keiki,” which equates as “A lei that is never cast aside is one’s boy.” To illustrate: a favorite lei of many type of locals is the pakalana. Pakalana is a tiny freduced that as soon as strung right into a lei is very beautiful, and the scent of this lei is truly wonderful. To wear such a lei provides you feel special and also brings joy, although, fact be told, sometimes the lei could obtain tangled in your hair, make your neck warm, or obtain in the method as soon as you’re trying to do somepoint. But, all we must do is capture a whiff of that lovely fragrance or glimpse the lei’s beauty, and also we are reminded simply how lucky we are to have actually it. So it is with our kids. Though they might acquire us warm and also bothered at times, a small gesture or sweet smile will eventually remind us just how lucky we are to have actually them.

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

When it pertains to ‘ohana in Hawai‘i, it’s often exceptionally hard for others to tell that is actually related by blood and what the relationships are. And in reality, that really doesn’t issue much here. In the older generation, households were sometimes extremely big so one would have many type of aunts and also uncles. Older cousins of our parents’ age are addressed respectcompletely as “aunty” or “uncle” even though they are technically cousins. Friends of our parents are also “aunty” and “uncle.” And the parents of our friends are “aunty” and “uncle.” As a son, it have the right to be a curse or a blessing to have so many type of aunties and also uncles looking after you! If you are doing somepoint naughty or are somewbelow you shouldn’t be, tright here will certainly likely appear an uncle asking, “Does your dad recognize you’re here?” But if you are stranded on the side of the road, an uncle will certainly conveniently be tbelow to aid. Or possibly you are at the beach and forgot to lug your lunch. Not to problem. . .there will be an aunty nearby that insists that you eat and gives what you require.

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

This feeling of extended family members is at the heart of Hawaiian ‘ohana. When you lug someone house right here to meet your family members for the initially time, your parents will a lot of definitely ask, “Who is your father/mother?” followed by “Where is your family members from?” The younger generation gets embarrassed once mothers or aunties interrogate a frifinish. (Then this generation grows up and finds they have turned into their parental fees and also are asking the very same questions!) But tbelow is a strong desire here to find the connection via others, and living on an island also tbelow is bound to be one. We are all inter-associated, and also as soon as the connection is discovered, tbelow is acceptance.

It is exceptionally special in Hawai’i that you don’t need to be related by blood to be considered ‘ohana. We are associated one to an additional in many means. The lei that brings joy and also provides one feel unique deserve to likewise be a symbol of family. Each freduced, or shell, or kukui nut in that lei is a unique individual, bound in addition to the others. Whether the bond is by blood or aloha matters not. This is ‘ohana.

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Mahalo to Gayle Miyaguchi, Hawaiian Cultural Reresource Advisor for the Ka’anapali Beach Hotel, for providing this insightful blog on Hawaiian society. The Ka’anapali Beach Hotel  has long been well-known as “Hawai‘i’s a lot of Hawaiian hotel” and is extremely respected for its commitment to offering an authentic Hawaiian cultural experience for its guests. When you remain tright here, you will many absolutely end up being a part of their ‘ohana.


Happy Travels!

Candy Aluli, Publisher

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(Note: We acknowledge and respect the definition of the ‘okina and kahakō maremperors in the created Hawaiian language; yet, we have omitted those diacrucial marmajesties on our site in order to incorporate with the more prevalent spellings provided in virtual searcs.)