Daily Archives: March 24, 2014

Language Legacies

It is Mindful Monday everyone and while I am still on Hawaiian time, I am getting in my blog before the sun sets for any East Coasters! My time in Waimea has offered up many conversations and discussions of our upbringing here as well as our genealogy. My cousins have done a wondrous job culling through old newspaper articles, documents, obituaries from the early 1900’s and are trying to piece together a family history that started before Hawaiian was a written language. It has come to mind that my husband and I are both the last generation of our families who had grandparents that spoke another language, a couple that did not even speak English.  I remember my Hawaiian grandmother and aunties speaking Hawaiian and giggling since we could not understand their words.  My husband experienced the same.  What stories have been lost due to the lack of understanding the language!  My cousin has taken Hawaiian and the language has made a huge comeback after being shunned in the early 1920’s-1950’s.  A full immersion school on Oahu now boasts over 17,000 young people now can speak Hawaiian.  So for this Mindful Monday, let’s set an intention to learn and use some words from our grandparents to pass on to our children and grandchildren.  I have used  Hawaiian words intermittently with our children and friends, east coast “haoles” now saying “pau” or “pau hana traffic”.  Now that I am a “Tutu” myself, I will make certain my grandchildren learn not only Hawaiian words but Yiddish ones too from their Grandfather’s roots. Let’s leave a legacy of language that although not spoken fluently in our families, can connect our children and grandchildren to their ancestral past.  It is  part of who they are and where they have come from.  And that, is a mindful way to respect and love our “ohana”. What words will you teach your little ones this week?  Aloha and mahalo.

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