Why I love Hawaii…. on Canada Day
Hawaii: My dad's sister lived in Hawaii from 1960 to 1990.
I LOVE Hawaii….
I need to return….
It has now been 15 years since I was last there…. I first went
to Hawaii when I was 5 years old. I have been six times, which
include 2 Easters, and 3 Christmases.
There is a level of cultural and
intercultural understanding and acceptance in Hawaii – that does not
exist in Canada yet. Except in certain families of intercultural race with mixed race children.
And in Hawaii…
The Japanese-Americans were NOT interned like they were in California
and Canada. They stayed in Hawaii, in their own homes which were
not confiscated like in Canada by the Canadian government which
confiscated Joy Kogawa's childhood home – now in the processs of becoming a national landmark in Vancouver.
But in Hawaii in 1976, I noticed that all the
television newscasts had Asian reporters. There was a complete feeling
of acceptance, + everybody spoke English. I felt at HOME in Hawaii.
And I Love Hawaiian Music.
I have records and cd of Beamer Brothers, Cazimero Brothers and pop
group Kalapana + traditional slack key guitar by Gabby Pahinui.
My first kiss was in Hawaii – I was 18, she was 17. We wrote letters
for about 2 years…. before they slowly diminished… She was
Chinese-Hawaiian and Catholic, prom queen of Sacred Hearts Academy. I
still have her pictures.
Thursday night I attended a farewell party for Chip
Frank, at Centre for Spiritual Living. I got up on stage, spoke about
Chip and Rev. Candace, and how the Hawaiian-themed farewell party was so
appropriate for this man, who would sit in the back of the room with a
Hawaiian shirt while his minister wife was up on stage, dressed ministerarily,
with a conservative flair.
I spoke how Chip and Candace brought the
sense of “Ohana” to CSL – the Hawaiian word for family…. and how Ohana means
“nobody gets left behind” (just like in the movie Lilo and Stitch)
I spoke about how there are two different
kinds of Hawaiian leis… the touristy kind of closed circle lei – that everybody is familialr with… and the
traditional sacred “mai lee” lei made of tea leaves – that are long and
open… because it represents “open love” and that is just the way Chip is…
with open arms… for open love.
I offered a Hawaiian blessing – but
forgot some of the words., so explained that the meaning and the energy was
Hi`ipoi I Ka`Aina Aloha