Statehood 1958
While the fight for Native Hawaiian sovereignty continues behind the curtain of the tourist industry, the small remnants of Hawaiian culture are ultimately what make it a unique place. Hawaiian culture has an easy-goingness that harkens back to the days of Captain Cook's discovery. When we lived in Makiki, we smirked at the frequent references to the spirit of aloha. It seemed to us crass commercial propaganda aimed at supporting the tourist industry which was far removed from life on Anapuni Street. But it existed all the same. Sure there are the incessant reminders of the missionary past and it is impossible to deny the fact that Native Hawaiians continued to be cheated out of their home. I don't mean to be fatalistic, but Hawaiians are now the long term residents with varied histories rather than just Native Hawaiians. Still, Native Hawaiian culture lives on. It may be as subtle as a schoolgirl wearing a fresh flower behind her ear or the bestowing of leis to mark celebrations of honor. It may be in the easygoingness of the Asian Americans (okay, Hawaiians!) who live in Hawai'i and are easily distinguishable from other Asian Americans even if they have since moved to the mainland. More substantively it is in the guise of institutions like the Kamehameha schools which insure that Native Hawaiian culture--if only fragmented--and language survive.

`Imi Au Ia `Oe

`Auhea wale `oe e ke aloha l
E ka mea ho`eha`eha pu`uwai
Na wai e `ole ke aloha ia l
A he waiwai ua sila mua ia

A`ohe kohukohu o ka ua l
Ke pili mai me a`u ka wahine u`i
`Aia ko`u hoa a e kohu ai
O ka `i`iwi hulu `ula o ka nahele

`Imi au ia `oe e ke aloha l
Ma na paia `a`ala o Puna
A i hea la `oe i nalowale iho nei
Ho`i mai no kua e pili
I Search for You

Where are you, my love
The one who stirs my heart
Who can help loving you
Riches bound to me from the beginning

The rain is not suitable
When I am with a pretty woman
The companion for me, truly compatible
Is the red-feathered `i`iwi bird of the uplands

I search for you, my love
In the fragrant groves of Puna
Where have you disappeared to?
Come back and stay with me
[by Charles E. King & Lili`uokalani]