Hawaii aloha

Aloha from Hawaii

The beautiful young man placed a fragrant plumeria lei around my neck, welcomed me to Kaua’i with an enormous smile and asked “How are you?”.

“Oh thank you these are beautiful,” I said, inhaling the flower garland.

It was 2000 and just a week into my first trip to the mysterious Hawaiian Islands in the distant Pacific Ocean and I was still overwhelmed by all the loving gestures of the native culture.

He leaned his head in and asked again: “So how are you?”.

Because I hadn’t answered the question …

It was right then, I realised, I came from a place and society where asking how are you is not really a question, rather a greeting that needs no response. In fact, please don’t respond.

Hawaiian Plumeria: photography Spirit Sorbet

In Hawaii that year I had the privilege of learning about the authenticity of the spirit of aloha – a way of life embraced by native Hawaiians for centuries.

While the Hawaiian Islands have been a popular holiday playground for a hundred years, centuries earlier, Hawaii was already home to Pacific peoples who had navigated their way to these lush islands in hand-carved outrigger canoes, guided by the stars.

The early Hawaiians brought with them a deep respect for planet Earth, as well as a myriad of beliefs which continue to influence their cultural traditions today.

One of the foundations of life which continues to hold strong is the spirit of aloha.

Aloha is considered the most heartfelt and sincere welcome – to exchange your very breath with another person – the most sacred of all energies you could possibly share.

Aloha is a word you will hear in abundance throughout the beautiful islands throughout your travels. It is used as a greeting and also embraces deeper meanings of love, caring, sharing, goodwill, strong mana (spiritual energy) and is defined as a way of life. It could be the nod of understanding; a gentle wave lapping at your feet; the caress of the sun on your skin or the signs you can read in the clouds — all having a link to the spirit of aloha.

The more powerful meaning is in its translation: alo being divinity (whatever power you believe exists) and ha being the breath of life. The ancient greeting of aloha was originally reserved for loved ones and close friends. It involved rubbing noses, saying aloha and inhaling each other’s breath (or ha).

Aloha is considered the most heartfelt and sincere welcome – to exchange your very breath with another person – the most sacred of all energies you could possibly share.


Disclaimer: this blog post is intended as a beautiful and thought-provoking article for entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for medical care.  No representations are made as to the completeness of any information and the author is not liable for any losses, injuries or damages from the use of this information.

Renee Bes

Renee Bes

Renee Bes is an international journalist and author who loves delving into the spiral of energy which keeps our Earth spinning: and believes storytelling with a focus on beloved language and powerful words can be a healing journey. Read more articles on her personal website and blog.

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