This year, it's going to be "Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau'oli Makahiki Hou" (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year). I've decided to spend Christmas and New Year at home in Hawaii. My vacation's been approved, and I found a reasonable ticket price to Honolulu. In two more weeks, I am off to the islands. With my numerous trips back and forth to Honolulu, this is the first time I have a stop over at Kona, Hawaii (also referred to as the Big Island). Although I've visited the Big Island three times in the past five years, I am so tempted to stay there for a day, then hop unto a flight to Honolulu the next day. I am also planning a two-day trip to Maui, but that depends if I do find a good package deal on it. I am so excited to see all of my ohana (family, friends etc.), go holoholo (leisurely travel) with old friends, eat at my favorite local restaurants - maybe dig in to a plate of Island Style Loco Moco (this is not recommended to the health conscious), but most of all - feel the warmth of the Aloha spirit.
Did you know that in Hawaii the Aloha Spirit is a state law? The world law is actually too strong, but more as a guidance to the leaders and people of Hawaii. I've heard too many people use the word "Aloha" too loosely. If you've lived in Hawaii, you'll understand that "Aloha" is much more than a word for hello and goodbye. In the traditional sense, "Aloha" is a way of life. According to the Hawaii State Legislature, "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." Here's the unuhi laula loa (free translation) of the word ALOHA:
"Akahai," meaning kindness, to be expressed with tenderness;
"Lokahi," meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
"Oluolu," meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
"Haahaa," meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
"Ahonui," meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.
So, the next time you do say "Aloha," mean it from the heart just as Queen Lili'uokalanai stated, "Aloha to learn what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable."
Aloha oukuo. (Aloha to all of you.)