Hawaiian language haumāna (students), faculty and staff celebrated Olelo Hawaiian language month on Valentine’s day by playing traditional Makahiki games and learned new mele (songs).
The love the Hawaiian language brought together dozens on the main lawn in front of the university. Everyone who attended was asked to communicate only in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.
“Ua komo au i ka papa ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. E hoʻoikaika i koʻu ʻōlelo a hoʻoikaika i koʻu ʻike o ko mākou kupuna. (I joined Hawaiian language to strengthen my language and also strengthen my identity with the knowledge of our kupuna),” said Kahulialiʻi‘i Arraujo, a UH freshman from Hilo who is enrolled in Hawaiian 202.
He said he was motivated to take the class after discovering his grandfather, a pure Native Hawaiian never learned ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi because of a ban implemented after the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.