Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ma ka hana ka 'ike

Aloha kakahiaka Morning Mana'o listeners! As we continue our journey in na'auao and ways we become enlightened and wise, today I share with you another 'ōlelo no'eau that helps us understand how we learn best as Hawaiians. Ma ka hana ka 'ike, there is knowledge to be gained through work. The mana'o (idea) behind this 'ōlelo no'eau is that we truly learn by doing. We can sit in a classroom and talk about planting kalo (taro), but when we get into the lo'i kalo (taro patch), feel the mud between our toes and put the huli (starter taro plants) into the ground with our own hands, it is then and only then that we learn the art of planting taro. When we do the work our ancestors did, pass the same pōhaku (stones) from hand to hand as we reconstruct an ancient fishpond, we begin to really understand the magnitude of our ancestors intellect and ingenuity. So, in the first phasse of learning we ho'olohe pono (listen carefully) and nānā (observe/watch). Then, we ho'opili, imitate and mimic through hands on work. This wonderful pearl of wisdom left for us by our kūpuna applies to us as we learn to speak Hawaiian as well. We can talk about language all day, but when we listen, observe, mimic and try to speak and write, this is when we really learn. This is why I am so ha'aheo (proud) of each of you for jumping on board in this journey. Language acquisition can be intimidating and frustrating, but you have overcome the biggest hurdle by having the courage to ho'ā'o, to try! E ho'omau kākou, may we continue the excellent work we have started together!

Aloha nō, a hui hou!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Na Wai Ho'i Ka 'Ole O Ke Akamai?

Aloha mai e ko Maui! Kauikeaouli established "He Aupuni Ho'ona'auao, A Kingdom of Learning". His brother, 'Iolani Liholiho, Kamehameha II, who reigned before him also valued education. When Liholiho traveled abroad to Europe he received compliments from other monarchs who praised his wisdom. He responded to this praise by saying, "Na wai ho'i ka 'ole o ke akamai, he alahele i ma'a i ka hele 'ia e o'u mau makua." "Who would not be wise on a path walked upon by my parents and ancestors?" In his response he did two things. First, he acknowledged his kūpuna, his ancestors and their intelligence. He understood that because his ancestors were smart, innovative, wise and they had taught these things to him, he, too had inhereted those same qualities. His kūpuna valued intelligence and instilled in him a love of learning. Although he was being praised he returned that praise and glory to the source, his kūpuna. Second, he showed his confidence in his upbringing. He considered himself no different than any of the other monarchs of the world. He saw himself as their equal. We learn valuable lessons from Liholiho. As parents and adult role models, we can instill in our keiki and the keiki we have contact with, this same kind of confidence. We can help them value education and become confident, contributing members of our community. So just how we do this? Tune in tomorrow and we'll discover some ways together.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

He Aupuni Ho'ona'auao, A Kindgom of Learning

E nā hoa o ke kakahiaka, aloha mai! He Aupuni Ho'ona'auao, A Kingdom of Learning was the philosophy of Kauikeaouli, Kamehameha III. He declared, "E nā ali'i a me nā kānaka, e ho'olohe mai! E lilo i ko'u aupuni i Aupuni Ho'ona'auao. Chiefs and people, give ear to my remarks! My kingdom shall be a kingdom of learning." Kauikeaouli knew that education was vital in preparing his people for the changes taking place in Hawai'i during his reign. As such, he encouraged the early missionaries to start schools in Hawai'i, teaching students to read and write. The first schools were simple hale pili (grass houses) with mats on the floor to sit on. By 1830 there were schools established on every island. With the growing number of Hawaiians becoming students there arose a need for more teachers. In 1831 Lahainaluna School was opened and became a school to train Hawaiian men to become teachers. Many of the graduates of Lahainaluna became prominent citizens and scholars of their time. Both Samuel Mānaiakalani Kamakau and David Malo were schooled at Lahainaluna. Their literary works are highly regarded and continue to be used today. In 1839 Kauikeaouli opened the Chief's Children's School in Honolulu to prepare future rulers of Hawai'i, which later became known as the Royal School. Among its students were Alexander Liholiho, Lot Kapuāiwa, William Lunalilo, David Kalākaua, Lydia Lili'uokalani and Bernice Pauahi. Education became more and more important and soon the government took over the public schools. The constitution of 1840 provided free public education and required all children to attend. At the end of Kauikeaouli's rule there were 423 schools in Hawai'i with over 12,000 students enrolled. Most of the schools used Hawaiian language as the medium of instruction. Hawai'i became one of the most literate countries in the world. Indeed, Kauikeaouli has established "He Aupuni Ho'ona'auao", a kingdom of learning.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ua Ao Hawai'i, Ke 'Olino Nei

He leo aloha iā 'oukou e ka lehulehu! Like many of you I am already thinking about and preparing for BACK TO SCHOOL! Every year my children and I talk about school and set goals together for the year. I try to stress to them the importance of education. So, this week, I thought we could look at na'auao, education, wisdom, enlightenment through the eyes of our kūpuna and along the way, catch of glimpse of how our ancestors valued education. We begin with an 'ōlelo no'eau, Ua ao Hawai'i, ke 'olino nei - Hawai'i is in the brightness of day, it shines, brilliant. Hawai'i is in an era of education. Let's look a little closer at the mana'o of this 'ōlelo no'eau. Hawai'i is descrided as bright, shiny and brilliant. It is likened to the brightness of day. The word for day in Hawaiian is ao, but it also means light and light represents intelligence and wisdom. Hawai'i gains these characteristics of light, brightness and brilliance because of the education and intellect of our people. When we take the time to learn our history we come to realize just how intelligent our ancestors are and that intelligence is inherently ours. Tomorrow we'll learn more about Kauikeaouli and his bold declaration "E lilo ko'u aupuni i Aupuni Ho'ona'auao - My kingdom shall be a Kingdom of Learning." Tune in tomorrow and following along through the week as we discover the brightness and brilliance within each of us.

Aloha nō, a hui hou!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

He 'olino leo ka ke aloha . . .

Aloha mai kākou! One of the Hawaiian values we try to emulate in our lives is 'olu'olu, which means gentle, agreeable, comfortable and pleasant. Now in reality it isn't always easy to be pleasant and agreeable. We find ourselves in all kinds of situations each day that challenge our ability to remain pleasant and joyful. Here's an 'ōlelo no'eau that can help us. He 'ōlino leo kā ke aloha. Joy is in the voice of love. Love speaks in gentle and joyous ways, not harshness or gruffness. This is a wonderful reminder to us all of the power of our words and the impact even the tone of our voice can have. Now I have a loud, powerful voice, so speaking in a gentle way can be a challenge for me, but as I remind myself of this 'ōlelo no'eau I have the opportunity to pause and decide how I will react, how I will speak and what I will say. This applies to us in our 'ohana, with our elders, our children, our siblings and our spouses. It applies to us at work, with our colleagues, supervisors, all those we interact with in our work lives. Sometimes we find ourselves speaking more kindly to a perfect stranger than those who we love and who mean the most to us. So, today, will you join me in choosing to speak with gentleness, joyfully, with love? Whatever situation you find yourself in, hit the "pause" button and choose to emulate this 'ōlelo no'eau - He 'ōlino leo kā ke aloha.

Aloha nō, a hui hou!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kauwela . . . Summer!

Ke Welina Aloha iā kākou a pau! Greetings of love to you all! Kauwela is the Hawaiian word for summer. When we break down the word we have kau, meaning period of time or season and wela, which means HOT! So literally we are saying the HOT season! Quite appropriate for this time of year. When you look a little closer into our culture we also find that we are currently in the Hawaiian lunar month known as Hinaia'ele'ele. The kumulipo tells us, 'O Ka'aona ke kāne, 'o Malanaikū ka wahine, hānau kā lāua, 'o Hinaia'ele'ele. Ka'aona is the male, Malanaikū is the female, to them is born Hinaia'ele'ele. So what happened traditionally during this month? Mo'olelo tells us that the ocean is vibrant during this time and food is plentiful. Our ancestors would salt and dry food to build a supply for the coming winter months. They spent much time ma kahakai, at the beach, along the shore and in the ocean. It is also said to be a good time to build a house, canoe or surfboard. In one mo'olelo of Hinaia'ele'ele we learn that a child born during this month will be a boaster and exaggerator. Hmmmm . . . can you think of anyone born this month that seems to naturally have these traits? Now, as you enjoy Kauwela, summer and the Hawaiian lunar month of Hinaia'ele'ele, think about the things our ancestors did and enjoy this rich season.

Aloha nō, a hui hou!

Morning Mana'o is BACK!

After a long hiatus I"m happy to say that Morning Mana'o is back featuring daily inspirational blogs on Hawaiian language, values and culture. We've got a new look for the blog and lots of new mana'o to share with you. Share it with your friends. Look for us on Facebook real soon, too!

ke aloha nō, ke Akua pū,