Small efforts to enhance the Hawaiian language

Hawaiian immersion education is the greatest achievement so far for the revitalization of the Hawaiian language. The Hawaiian language is growing rapidly, from day care schools to a college degree in which all academics are taught through the Hawaiian language.

Because of immersion schools children are taught from when they are toddlers throughout high school and some even make a career majoring in Hawaiian language or studies. Most graduates from these immersion schools complete their college education and connect their career through giving back to the Hawaiian community.

Besides great achievements like Hawaiian immersion education, there are also small successes being achieved in the Native Hawaiian community. A goal for the Hawaiian immersion community is to enhance the knowledge of the Hawaiian language and culture in Hawai’i. A few Hawaiian immersion graduates and other Native Hawaiian individuals brainstorm and propose certain projects in which they can reach out to the community through the Hawaiian language.

A week ago, ‘Aha’i Olelo Ola, the Hawaiian language news program that covers issues, people, and events from a uniquely Hawaiian perspective announced that from now on there is going to be an in-flight programming for airlines to use when welcoming visitors and residents to Hawai’i using the Hawaiian language.

This is an example of a small way in which Native Hawaiian speakers are trying to teach visitors and even locals the Hawaiian language by greeting them to the islands in Hawaiian, with English captions on the screen.

I believe that this is not only a great way in which the Hawaiian language is expanding, but it is a great way for malihini (visitors) to see how Hawai’i is dedicated at making sure that they have a great experience on their visit. “Ho’okahi la a ka malihini, a lilo i ‘ohana,” an ancient Hawaiian proverb meaning, one day you are a visitor, the next you are family, a sincere belief in the Hawaiian culture.

Video of In-Flight Programming upon Arrival to Hawai’i:

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