Aloha Spirit

Aloha Spirit

the aloha spirit

He ‘Olina Leo Ka Ke Aloha – Joy is in the voice of love.

As much as the world loves Hawai’i for its natural beauty, most of its treasure lies with its community. Hawai’i is one of the world’s best examples of a melting pot, and many people here have ten or more ethnicities in their family tree. The original Hawaiian culture, which goes back more than a thousand years- and perhaps forever- sustains us. In fact, the culture has never been more alive since the time of contact with the West, when Captain Cook behaved badly and was killed and eaten (sort of) for his trouble. Things only went downhill for the Hawaiian after that.

Cook’s legacy includes the disease he brought to Hawai’i: the epidemics of measles, tuberculosis, syphilis, and even the common cold (which drowned Hawaiians, the best of swimmers, who were frantic to cool off their fevers). Then came leprosy, bubonic plague, and smallpox. By the time the diseases had run their course, the population of native Hawaiians had been decimated, from about a million at the time of contact in 1779, to just 45,000 at the time of the first Hawaiian census in 1845.

Not to be outdone, the missionaries took all the remaining fun out of being Hawaiian. They banned the hula and forbade Hawaiian schoolchildren to speak their own language. A certain sea captain (may he rot) added to their misery by sloshing ashore on Maui a barrel of mosquito-infested water that he had brought from Central America, as payback to the chiefs who had forbidden their women to socialize with his whalers.

As Hawaiians began to die out, fewer and fewer of them were available and willing to do the brutal work of cutting sugar cane on the plantations. They weren’t lazy. In fact, the only fat people in olden times were the royalty, whose corpulence symbolized their gravitas. But the idea of working for cash was alien to a people that had little experience with money, and for whom hard work had been largely a labor of love.

Given the labor shortage, the government of Hawai’i imported workers from throughout the Pacific: Okinawa and Japan, Korea, the Philippines, and China, even Portugal and Puerto Rico. These immigrants seeded the polyglot melting pot of modern Hawai’i. During the five generations that have transpired since, the many cultures of the Pacific and the world at large have taken root in the Hawaiian bedrock and intertwined to produce countless new iterations of the aloha spirit.

Only about 7,000 pure-blooded Hawaiians remain, but their race and culture are perpetuated by more than a quarter-million part-Hawaiians here and a half-million nation-wide. The decimation of their race has made it more urgent for Hawaiians to find their political voice and perpetuate native Hawaiian culture, for their values, beliefs, and practices are the bedrock of our community and the aloha spirit.

Anything goes here… in good directions.

Untold treasures await you in The Great Hawaiian Bazaar!

If you have a taste for history, we invite you to WisdomMaps: The Future of the Past!

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the aloha spirit