‘Ohana means family. Families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember each other, according to Wikipedia. And ‘ohana is such an integral part of Hawaiian culture that an ‘ohana unit is part of a house or a separate structure on the same lot that may contain a relative, but which may not be rented to the general public.
I am missing Hawaii tonight, and especially missing that spirit of ‘ohana that we felt with each visit. It was there at The Guest House in Lahaina, where we were welcomed into the home of an aunt of one of my daughter’s classmates. On a later visit, it included helping decorate the Christmas tree with seashells and Hawaii-themed ornaments, and teenagers on street corners passing out candy canes from pillow cases. Mele Kalekemaka!
It continued the year we timed our visit for The Tournament of Kings, and after the competition was over we were invited back to the home of a local student of Mr. “Huk” Planas for a luau and music…the Scotch flowed and the mood was mellow, and I could have stayed there forever, mesmerized by the guitar and ukulele. Even the geckos were content as they sat by the lamps waiting for bugs to snack on.
And the last time…my sister was with me, and we shared all my favorite places on Maui. I watched a YouTube video about Duke Kahanamoku, who saved the tradition of surfing and popularized it outside of Hawaii, and remembered sitting at Duke’s Place and listening to the waves on the shore. The only thing better would be to have my whole family with me.
Which brings me back to ‘ohana. ‘Ohana means family.