Palaka: The Hawaiian Word of The Week
Will you sit around being uninterested or indifferent? I don’t think so!
He aha lā ka manaʻo o kēia ʻōlelo e kau aʻe nei i luna? Penei ia: ʻo kēia mahina aʻe, ʻo Pepeluali, ʻo ia Ka Mahina O Ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (He ʻoiaʻiʻo nō, he mahina ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ko kākou!). No laila, ʻo kaʻu nīnau iā ʻoukou a pau loa e nā hoa o ka ʻāina, e hiu aku nō ʻoukou i ke aʻo i ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, a i ʻole e noho palaka nō?
What the heck is the meaning of the above title? It’s like this: next month, February, is Hawaiian Language Month (It’s true, we have a Hawaiian language month!). So my question to all of you, friends of this land, is will you jump into action and learn some Hawaiian, or will you abide in inactivity / continue uninterested? [Note: there are many possible translations of “noho palaka”]
ʻaʻole loa he manawa no ke Aliʻi Kamehameha e noho palaka wale ai (He Moʻolelo Kaʻao No Kekūhaupiʻo) – there certainly wasn’t a moment for Kamehameha to just be lax or inactive
That’s right, Paiʻea knew that if you had your eye on the prize you had to be mākaukau (prepared/skilled), ʻeleu (quick/on it), and willing to get a little dirty. My guess is that you, my language loving friend, don’t want to be palaka. I think you want to seize the moment and up your ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi skills. Whether you know hardly any, small kine, or a lot, there is always room to grow. So make a pledge to take it to the next level this February! Need some ideas? See the list of resources at the bottom of this post.
E haiolelo hou ana no o Dr. Harrison iloko o ka Hale Mele Hou i keia po. E na kane no oukou wale no keia pomaikai no laila mai palaka i ka naue aku. (Ka Leo o Ka Lahui, 1892) – Dr. Harrison will be speaking again in the Hale Mele Hou tonight. Men, this opportunity is just for you, so don’t be negligent in attending.
[E kala mai e nā kānaka i maʻa i ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, e ʻauana iki ana au a e kauleo aku ana nō i nā mea ʻē aʻe e alu pū.]
Unlike Dr. Harrison’s speech, ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi is for everyone. Hawaiian or non-Hawaiian, local or foreign, young or old, it doesn’t matter. If you live in Hawaiʻi, if you enjoy the way of life that is only found in these islands, then take a step further and learn something about ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. I promise you, it can only enrich your life.
The thing is, if we really love this language, if we consider it a treasure of humanity (like the other rare and endangered languages of the world), then we can’t expect the teachers and students of the Hawaiian-language immersion schools to keep carrying most of the load. Nor can we expect the university system to ensure the survival of the language. Yes, ʻōleo Hawaiʻi is thriving and growing in these places. Yes, these educational institutions play extremely critical roles in revitalization, but what happens when we step outside these places? Pehea lā kā kākou ʻōlelo ma nā wahi ʻē aʻe? – How is our language in other spheres? I pose this question, me ke aloha, as food for thought.
Mai palaka oukou; o ka hana koke ka mea e holo ai ka nupepa i hoomakaia i mea e loaa ai i na kanaka Hawaii kahi e hoakea ai i na manao o lakou ponoi (Ka Hoku O Ka Pakipika, 1861) – Don’t you folks be apathetic; immediate action is what will make this newspaper go, [a paper] that was started so that Hawaiians could have a place to make public their own thoughts and opinions
*Ka Hoku o Ka Pakipika was the first “independent” Hawaiian newspaper, i.e. the first paper not under missionary control. It was run and edited by Hawaiians, providing a place for their voices and concerns to be heard and discussed as they saw fit.
Really, we need all willing and loving hands on deck. We need all the resources we can muster, because we still have so much work to do. We need a flood of creativity in all domains, backed by an enthusiastic populus that wants to see ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi thrive. But most of all, we need your ake, your makemake, your haʻehaʻe, and your ʻeu. If becoming a speaker of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi isn’t your thing, you can become a supporter of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi by sharing your resources or skills in other areas. If you feel moved to action, contact us for assistance in connecting with a project or group of people that could use your help.
One of the founding principles of Kealopiko is to support the spread and normalization of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, which we do through the medium of fashion. However, being ladies of the digital age, we are not limited to our garments or story tags. In the month of February we will be using this blog and our social media sites to provide more support for those who love and learn ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. Some really fun and exciting things will be popping off, so stay tuned in the first week of February for more ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi!
No laila, e nā makamaka, e hoʻokuke i ka palaka a e hiu aku nō i ke aʻo i ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi! – So, friends, oust the inactivity and the apathy and ardently pursue learning Hawaiian! E alu, e laulima, e hāpai pū. Let us co-operate, lend many hands, and carry [the load] together.
Here are some wonderful resources for ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi that are literally a click away:
Peruse Ulukau, the Hawaiian Electronic Library (CHOKE awesome content!)
Use the handy online Hawaiian Dictionaries via Ulukau
Search the Hawaiian language newspapers via Papakilo
Read fantastic translations of all kine newspaper articles at Nūpepa-Hawaiʻi
Watch episodes of the show Mānaleo at Kaʻiwakīloumoku
Watch high quality programming on ʻŌiwi TV
Read wonderfully insightful essays on mele Hawaiʻi at Hālau Mōhala ʻIlima
Check out the Hawaiian language offerings at UH Mānoa and UH Hilo campuses
E ola ka ʻōlelo o ka ʻāina!