Aloha isn’t just a way to say “Hello” and “Goodbye” when you’re in Hawaii. The word “Aloha” comes from the Proto-Polynesian word “qarofa” and has many meanings such as love, kindness, and care. It also defines an entire lifestyle that may be the secret of happiness. Some people consider the spirit of Aloha the center of a unique philosophy.
The breath of life
Aloha has traveled a lot from its native Hawaii and become well-known in the entire world. The main reason behind its popularity is the promise of happiness. Some translate it as “the breath of life”, others as “to joyful share friendship and affection”. And this is the first thing you observe when you visit Hawaii: how warm, welcoming, and friendly people are.
The very next thing you observe is their attitude towards life. They seem to gather energy from nature and live in the present more than any other person. Aloha also speaks about a continuous and joyful transformation of energy from the natural elements that keep us alive (the sun, the ocean, the forest), through ourselves, and to others that need it (people, animals, plants). It’s a philosophy of empathy, care, and harmony.
Aloha and nature
In Hawaii, nature means the world. It isn’t something separated from us and we can always rely on a give-take relationship. Nature is generous and keeps us alive. In return, we respect life and give back our energy and love. In the end, we will become nature again. Aloha also speaks about pity, humility, modesty, and patience. Sustainability and living a balanced life is part of the Hawaiian culture.
Aloha and people
Aloha appears in many expressions and all of them share greetings and love. You can use it all around the islands and keep it close to your heart. If you’re curious about its deep meanings, ask local about it. They’ll be happy to show you that it isn’t just a catchy word, but a truly spiritual experience.
To gain the kingdom of heaven is to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable – that is Aloha. – Queen Lili’uokalani