TAKING BACK ALOHA
Aloha and what it means:
Hello, goodbye, love, compassion, sympathy; so many sentiments can be used to define “Aloha.” Put simply, Aloha is the essence of Hawaii, a word used to share love, understanding, and connection.
The misuse and abuse of aloha and Hawai‘i likeness:
As Hawaii’s tourism industry and global reputation as a Polynesian paradise rose, so did appropriation of its ‘āina, culture, and language. A word as beautiful and sacred as Aloha is now used as a marketing tactic by the very companies whose actions have displaced, disrespected, and reduced the Kānaka Maoli to a caricature of submissive servitude.
The Aloha Law:
From Chapter 5 of Hawaiʻi Revised Statutes: "Aloha Spirit" is the coordination of mind and heart within each person. It brings each person to the self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.
In the contemplation and presence of the life force, "Aloha", the following unuhi laulā loa may be used, written by kūpuna Auntie Pilahi Paki:
• Akahai; meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness.
• Lōkahi; meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony.
• ʻOluʻolu; meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness.
• Haʻahaʻa; meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty.
• Ahonui; meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii's people. It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaiʻi. "Aloha" is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation. "Aloha" means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. "Aloha" is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence. "Aloha" means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.
(b) In exercising their power on behalf of the people and in fulfillment of their responsibilities, obligations and service to the people, the legislature, governor, lieutenant governor, executive officers of each department, the chief justice, associate justices, and judges of the appellate, circuit, and district courts may contemplate and reside with the life force and give consideration to the "Aloha Spirit". [L 1986, c 202, § 1]
It’s time we take #AlohaBack:
So what is the lāhui to do when our sacred Aloha Spirit has been reduced to a symbol of submission? Defend Hawai’i has decided it’s time to reclaim Aloha. We hope the people of Hawai’i and beyond will support us as we revolt against the harmful, docile caricature assigned to our islands, restore our reputation as a beautiful and powerful culture which demands respect and true aloha from our visitors, and call out appropriators along the way.. Na‘au is the time!
VIEW THE COLLECTION HERE