Hawaii is unique for many reasons, but our culture has made our people shine from the inside out. An excerpt from the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Plan: We are fortunate that our diverse and multi-cultural community currently provides a strong foundation for such a quality of life. The aloha spirit is still pervasive, and there is respect amongst our cultures. Living on an island has created a culture of collaboration and working together. We have the makings of a community that when determined can achieve great things.
The Hawaiian Culture we are trying to preserve and teach to our keiki is imperative to Hawaii becoming self-sustainable again. We must believe in certain overarching values in order to see the importance of what we are trying to accomplish. To feel a sense
of responsibility (Kuleana) for our land, oceans and resources and to the people of Hawaii. We need to care beyond ourselves and our immediate families in order to work together for the greater good. We need to collaborate, partner and find common goals in order to solve the problems we have today. We can’t do this alone and Hawaii can no longer give of its resources without being replenished by its people. A quote from the Pacific American Foundation, “Looking to the Past to Chart our Way Forward” should be top of mind. Let’s learn from our past and incorporate our innovation to build a promising future.
In 2015, The Department of Education has incorporated these unique values into the Hawaii education system and here is an excerpt from their Na Hopena A’o Statements HA: BREATH,
“What makes Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i - a place unlike anywhere else - are the unique values and qualities of the indigenous language and culture. ‘O Hawai‘i ke kahua o ka ho‘ona‘auao. Hawai‘i is the foundation of our learning. Thus the following learning outcomes, Nā Hopena A‘o, are rooted in Hawai‘i, and we become a reflection of this special place.
Nā Hopena A‘o or HĀ are six outcomes to be strengthened in every student over the course of their K-12 learning journey. Department staff should also be models of behaviors that direct students to what these outcomes might look like in practice. The outcomes include a sense of Belonging, Responsibility, Excellence, Aloha, Total Wellbeing and Hawai‘i. When taken together, these outcomes become the core BREATH that can be drawn on for strength and stability throughout school and beyond.”
The other treasured part of Hawaii’s culture are the ARTS. Featuring the different cultures that have made their way to Hawaii has created a very eclectic collection. Sharing the Pacific Islanders indigenous creative works tells stories about their history and culture that only art can truly portray. The Honolulu Biennial 2019 told amazing indigenous stories through contemporary art. This is just one example of what Hawaii is doing today in the art world as we link back to our past.