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Antics are sure to ensue when KS staffers ‘Ekela Kaniaupio-Crozier and Hau‘oli Akaka take the stage as emcees at Friday’s Pō ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Language Night) at the Aloha Stadium Kāniwala Aupuni Hawai‘i (50th State Fair)! Both are excited for kāniwala goers to be surrounded by the soundscape of Hawai‘i's indigenous language.

KS duo to emcee Fridayʻs 50th State Fair Hawaiian Language Night

June 27, 2018

Contributed by Nadine Lagaso

Kamehameha Schools Cultural Specialist Hau‘oli Akaka and ‘Ekela Kaniaupio-Crozier – KS Maui cultural-based learning designer and facilitator, will serve as the emcees at Friday’s Pō ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian Language Night) at the Aloha Stadium Kāniwala Aupuni Hawai‘i (50th State Fair). Their stint starts at 6 p.m.

The first-ever event is slated for June 29, from 6 p.m. to midnight and is sponsored by the State DOE Office of Hawaiian Education, E.K. Fernandez, and Kanaeokana – a network of Native Hawaiian schools including KS.

Akaka said that the kāniwala is an exciting step toward normalizing Hawai‘i’s native language.

“I koʻu wahi manaʻo, he wahi leʻaleʻa ke kāniwala, kahi e hoʻohiaʻai ka manaʻo o ka lehulehu ma o nā paʻani, nā hololeʻa, nā hōʻike a me nā meaʻai ʻono likeʻole! Ke lohe ʻia a laha ʻia ka ʻōlelo ʻōiwi o ka ʻāina ma ia ʻano wahi hoʻolauleʻa, he mea nō ia e hōʻoluʻolu ai i ka puʻuwai a e hāpai aʻe i ke kūlana o ka ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi ma ke kaiāulu. Ola ka ʻōlelo ma nā wahi a pau a mau loa!”

“Carnivals are fun places where everyone finds enchantment in its variety of games, rides, entertainment and delicious eats! To be able to hear and expand the soundscape with the indigenous language of this land in a fun setting, is surely a means to delight the hearts and elevate the status of the Hawaiian language in our community. The Hawaiian language thrives everywhere, all the time!”

Kaniaupio-Crozier – who raised her children to speak Hawaiian – says that the kāniwala will give attendees of all ages a chance to see that the Hawaiian language lives!

“As a mom of three keiki who were raised ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, I recognize the importance of providing opportunities for our keiki to see and hear their ʻōlelo in all spaces in Hawaiʻi,” she said. “Not only will the kāniwala be leʻaleʻa loa, but it’s another chance for our keiki, their ʻohana and the community as a whole to delight in an indigenous soundscape unique to this ʻāina. Ola ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ma nā wahi a pau!”

Scores of other KS staffers have volunteered their time and Hawaiian language skills as well!

To learn more – including some cool Hawaiian words and phrases that can be used in a carnival setting – go to the kāniwala website. Organizers ask that attendees help commemorate the historic evening by taking photos and video of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i conversations and posting them to social media with the hashtag:  #kaniwala.

Say it ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi! To learn some cool Hawaiian words and phrases that can be used in a carnival setting, go to the kāniwala website:

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