What is the first word that pops into your mind when you think of Hawaii? It may be “pineapple” or “surfing”, or maybe even the food “spam”—but most likely, you probably thought of the phrase “aloha.”
Aloha is, without a doubt, the most common Hawaiian word and most commonly used phrase in Hawaii. Part of this is because the word can mean “hello” or “goodbye” and the other part is because it embodies the philosophy of love and caring. This word is used when meeting and greeting and when departing for the night. With how commonly it is used, it is no wonder Hawaii is called the Aloha State.
The NEED to know of Aloha
If you are travelling to Hawaii, it is probably good to know the deeper meaning of “aloha” because there is an actual law regarding it as a philosophy. The Aloha Spirit Law is an interesting piece of Hawaiian culture that any tourist to the islands should read up on and learn to act under.
Aloha, in many situations, is more than just a word of greeting or goodbye. It is a philosophy that all Hawaiians are held to and that all people visiting should also be a part of. Aloha, which literally means “breath of life,” is a phrase that means showing love and respect to all that cross your path. It is an interesting philosophy because it encourages a person to develop a balance within themselves of love and respect and to then spread those feelings to others through their behaviors.
Some natives believe that living the Aloha Spirit can bring one to inner peace and even self-realization of the soul. Living the Aloha Spirit spreads harmony and positivity and it is believed that these feelings can always be called upon and spread to others. It is probably a foreign concept to most that a state law can be about spreading kindness to others, when most state laws are about cut and dry criminal issues or commercial customs.
For anyone travelling to Hawaii, and also for the natives of the islands, there are a few phrases that can be used to remember the meaning of the Aloha Spirit Law:
- “Akahai,” means kindness and expressing that kindness through tenderness.
- “Lōkahi,” means unity and expressing that unity through harmony.
- “’Olu’olu,” means agreeableness and expressing it through pleasantness.
- “Ha’aha’a,” means humility and expressing that humility through modesty.
- and “Ahonui” means patience that should be expressed through perseverance.
It would be in very bad taste to travel to Hawaii and tarnish the Aloha Spirit Law by not expressing yourself with an Aloha Spirit. The natives of the islands know this law well and understand the deep meaning behind this commonly used phrase, and now you do too. It is a philosophy that can be taken anywhere, even if you are not travelling to Hawaii and being influenced by the law. But if you are planning to travel to Hawaii, make sure to spread that Aloha Spirit and show that spirit to everyone you meet—it’s the law!