This August, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa located in Ko Olina on the island of O'ahu, will open its doors to the public. In anticipation of the opening, here are a few facts about Hawaii.
Lei greetings of aloha:
Lei is a Hawaiian word for garland or wreath and one of the most recognizable symbols of aloha. To the islanders, the lei is more than a string of flowers- it represents a deep and abiding part of the Hawaiian culture.
During the "Boat Days" of the early 1900s, lei vendors lined the pier at Aloha Tower to welcome visitors to the islands. It is saided that departing visitors would throw their lei into the sea in hopes that, like the lei, they too would return to the islands again someday.
A lei is created to be given to another for a special reason and as a sign of affection. It is a tradition to present a lei to greet, honor, celebrate, congratulate and express love to others for many occasions including birthdays, anniversaries,retirement, graduations or weddings. Different lei material have different uses and significance in Hawaiian culture. A hula dancer may wear a lei bearing symbolism for the story or the island for which the song was written. For expectant mothers, only open lei are appropriate. Never present a pregnant woman with a closed lei.
Lei may be maded of fresh flowers and foliage such as ti leaves, ferns,vines or seeds. More permanent and long lasting lei may be created fron shells, kukui nuts, feathers or even paper and silk.
When being presented a lei, the receiver should acknowledge the presenter by standing still and bending slightly if needed so the person can easily place the lei over the neck. The proper way to wear a lei is draped over the neck and shoulders, hanging in front and back. Should the lei prove too fragrant for the recipient, it is acceptable to place it nicely in an area where it may be more appreciated from a distance.
Wearers should be mindful when discarding a lei as it should never be discarded casually or in the trash. If not kept as a keepsake, traditionally, florals or foliage should be returned to the earth after removing the string.
Common Hawaiian words and phrases:
Aloha- greetings, hello,goodbye, affection, love
Aloha kakahiaka- good morning
Aloha 'auinala- good afternoon
Aloha ahiahi- good evening
Plural word for lei: lei (same as singular)
Aloha, see you in Hawaii...DR LEE