The True Meaing of “Aloha”

Hawaiian gifts

When I made the decision to move to Maui, I knew approximately one Hawaiian word -- Aloha. Of course, most people know that the word "Aloha" is an expression used for greetings, such as hello and good-bye. However, I quickly learned that, like all words in the Hawaiian culture, there is a much deeper, more sophisticated meaning that lies within those five letters.

With dreams of becoming an English teacher, I have found conversations with locals regarding the Hawaiian culture and the Hawaiian language riveting. When looking at Hawaiian words, it is important to have an understanding of what root words are; a root word is what is remaining in a word when the prefix (a syllable or word placed at the beginning another word to alter the meaning) and the suffix (a syllable or word placed at the end of another word to alter the meaning) is removed. Root words have their own meanings; for example, in the word aquamarine, the root word is "aqua" and means water. In manual, "man" is the root word, and in context of the word, it means hand.

Silk Flower Leis and Headbands

In the word aloha, there are three root words;
-alo, which defines as sharing and in the present.
-oha, which defines as joy
-ha, which defines as life, breath and energy.

When viewing those words within aloha, you see that aloha literally means "The joyful sharing of life and energy in the present" -- joyfully sharing life.

In local schools, there is an acronym for the word Aloha, used to teach children moral values and integrity.

A - (Akahai) Kindness to be expressed with tenderness.
L - (Lokahi) Unity, expressed with harmony
O - (Oia'i'o) Truthful and honest
H - (Ha'aha'a) Humility, expressed with modesty
A - (Ahonui) Patience and perseverance

When combined, the acronym is interpreted as "Be in unity and harmony with your real self, God and all of mankind. Be truthful, honest and patient. Be kind to all forms of life, and remain humble."

Aloha is much more than a word or a greeting; it's a lifestyle.

Mahalo and do something nice for someone today....spread the Aloha Spirit!
Mahalo for reading. Please share the Aloha Spirit and do something nice for someone today. We welcome your comments and feedback. This blog is brought to you by Kapo Trading Company -- with over 3000 fun, unique and authentic Hawaiian items, we deliver Hawaii to you!

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