Exploring the Unique Aspects of Hawaiian Culture

Manaʻo readers can also explore the unique aspects of Hawaiian culture by visiting our Instagram channel. Hawaiian is a Polynesian language, similar to Tongan and Samoan, but not interchangeable. In the past, cultural pressure to adapt to the “American” lifestyle and to speak English in order to live and work in Hawaii was so great that children often did not grow up speaking Hawaiian fluently. When I read about the legal battles and Hana's allegation that she could not leave Kalaupapa to defend her rights, I was surprised to learn that the Bayonet Constitution of 1887 had a significant impact on Hawaiians sent to Kalaupapa in the last six months of that year.

This event had a major influence on the preservation and exchange of this unique culture. After graduating from the Hawaiian language immersion program and the wider Hawaiian language revitalization movement, I was fortunate to be surrounded by the Hawaiian essence. My parents' expectations of me were based on a non-Hawaiian culture, and even the institute I attended, although thought to be “Hawaiian”, was in fact a school for Hawaiians to learn the customs of the Western world. The 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s saw the emergence of Hawaiian leaders in a wide range of cultural and political areas, who worked to erode the harshest elements of the culture of shame and initiate a process of healing and recovering self-esteem for the community. The Hawaiian language is currently being revitalized, but native Hawaiians historically spoke Hawaiian as their first language.

My mother enrolled me in Ke Kula Kaiapuni ʻo Keaukaha (a Hawaiian immersion school) when she started working for ʻAha Pūnana Leo, the entity that spearheads the Hawaiian language revitalization movement. Diseases introduced from the west devastated the host population, while radical political, economic, cultural, and land tenure changes caused a similar destruction of culture, stability, and, most importantly, the self-sustainability of the Hawaiian people. Kahoʻohanohano, now 30 years old, is known as one of Hawaiian Airlines' main storytellers, with ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and Hawaiian culture as pillars of her work. The power of the culture of shame created a well-understood barrier between relationships between Haoles and Hawaiians that went beyond certain levels. Sereno Bishop (1827-190), the son of a missionary linked to Lorrin Thurston (one of the leaders of the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom in 1899), wrote “definitive Hawaiian stories”, in which he described Hawaiians as lazy, slow, and unable to fend for themselves. Today's readers have many ways to interact with a blog about Hawaiian culture.

They can follow us on social media platforms such as Instagram or Twitter. They can also subscribe to our blog's mailing list or join our online forums where they can discuss topics related to Hawaiian culture with other readers. Additionally, readers can attend events organized by us or other organizations related to Hawaiian culture. Finally, readers can also support our blog by donating or purchasing products from our online store.

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