In Hawaiian, ‘ohana means family. In the Hawaiian way, family means more than just your immediate family. ‘Ohana extends to all of your relatives by blood and by marriage…but greater than that, ‘ohana can extend and expand outwards into your neighborhood, your community, your friends, your place of work, your island. ‘Ohana is the family you choose. ‘Ohana is the family you are given. And in Hawaiian culture there is a kuleana, a responsibility and privilege, to mālama, look out and provide care for, your ‘ohana. There is an ‘olelo no‘eau (wise proverb) in Hawaiian that says:
‘Ike aku, ‘ike mai, kōkua aku, kōkua mai;
Pela iho la ka nohona ‘ohana.
Recognize and be recognized, help and be helped; Such is family life.
Living on this island comes with the kuleana of being a part of the Maui ‘ohana. Living here, one could say even visiting here, unites oneself into the belief that we are all connected. That we are more alike than different. That we have more than the responsibility, but the privilege to help and be of service to others. This is a core belief of the Fairmont Kea Lani ‘ohana. The privilege of living on this island paradise in the middle of the Pacific must be repaid through the privilege of serving, providing for, and lifting up, those around us.
In Hawaiian culture, ‘ohana are separated by generation. Keiki is our word for children. Makua is our word for the parent’s generation, although in modern Hawaii you will hear keiki call out to anyone in their parents’ generation as Aunty or Uncle, an honorific title, a sign of respect. The elders, or the grandparents’ generation, are called kupuna. In ancient times, the makua would be working during the day…farming and fishing, providing for and protecting everyone else. The keiki would be left to learn from the kupuna, thereby gaining the knowledge and wisdom of the elder generation and ensuring that the stories and traditions of the people were carried on.