The Hawaiian Islands Today

The Hawaiian Islands Today

At its core, the ancient Hawaiian culture embodies the concept of aloha, emphasizing giving without the expectation of return, and a spirit of loving, sharing and caring for all the ‘ohana (extended family).

This spirit of aloha was an integral part of ancient Hawaiian life, and it continues strongly today. A Hawaiian saying is: “Ua hilo ‘ia i ke aho a ke aloha.” (“Braided with the cords of love.”), which is explained to mean “Held in the bond of affection.”[i]

Many difficulties have been endured by the Hawaiian people, yet still the Hawaiian culture remains alive and vibrant. The Hawaiian language is spoken, native arts are practiced, and hula is performed.

Local fishermen ply the sea to feed their families, and farmers cultivate kalo (taro) to make poi. There are lū‘au (feasts) with ‘ohana (family) while keiki (children) string together fragrant lei, surf the ocean waves, and are raised with aloha in their hearts.

[Photograph: Hula dancing at Merrie Monarch Festival (2007 photo)]

[i] p. 307, Pukui, Mary Kawena. ‘Ōlelo No‘eau: Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press, 1983. Proverb 2786.