ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi is celebrated daily at Kamehameha campuses giving haumāna a source of identity and pride.
E nā hoa o nei pae ʻāina aloha ʻo Hawaiʻi, aloha mai kākou! ʻO ka Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi kēia, e ola mau ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi!
Mai ka hoʻomaka o ke kenekulia iwakālua, ua emi loa maila ka heluna o nā kānaka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. Ua mālama mau ʻia nō naʻe ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi ma kekahi mau wahi – ma nā kaiaulu, nā hale pule, a ma loko o kekahi mau ʻohana. Eia naʻe, ma nā makahiki 1970, ua ʻane halapohe ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, a e koe mai ana he mau haneli wale nō mānaleo e ola ana i ia manawa. No ia kumu i hui ai kekahi poʻe aloha ʻōlelo, a hoʻokumu aʻela lākou i mau kula ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, me ka manaʻo e lilo ia mau kula i kahua ikaika no ka no hoʻōla a me ka hoʻomau ʻana i ka ʻōlelo.
I loko o ka ʻaha kumukānāwai o ka makahiki 1978, ua ʻāpono ʻia ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi he ʻōlelo kūhelu no ka Mokuʻāina ʻo Hawaiʻi. I kēia wā, ke mālama ʻia nei ʻo Pepeluali, ʻo ia ka mahina ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi. Ma ka makahiki 2012, ua ʻāpono ʻia he pākuʻina kānāwai, me ka ʻōlelo: “…ka mahina ʻo Pepeluali ʻo ia ka ʻMahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi’ i mea e hoʻomaikaʻi a e paipai aku ai i ka ʻōlelo ʻana o ua ʻōlelo makuahine nei...” ʻO kēia pākuʻina kānāwai ka mea mua loa i ʻāpono ʻia ma ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi a me ka ʻōlelo Pelekānia e ka Mokuʻāina ʻo Hawaiʻi.
Eia kekahi, ʻo kēia makahiki, 2022, ʻo ia ka makahiki mua o ke Kekeke ʻŌlelo ʻŌiwi. Wahi a ka ʻAha Aupuni Hui Pū ʻIa, ʻo ka poʻe ʻōiwi, he 4% ka pūʻuo kanaka o ka honua, akā he 4,000 a ʻoi ʻōlelo ʻokoʻa o nā lāhui ʻōiwi. Manaʻo ʻia he 6,700 ʻōlelo ʻokoʻa ma ka honua a puni. He ʻike waiwai ko loko o nā ʻōlelo e pili ana i nā ʻāina me nā kānaka. Ma loko o kēia kekeke nei, e kūlia ana ka poʻe he nui i ka hoʻoikaika a hoʻomau i nā ʻōlelo ʻōiwi, pēlā nō hoʻi ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.
Eia kekahi mau pahuhopu ʻōlelo no ka mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi!
Aia i loko o ka ʻōlelo ka ʻike ʻāina a me ka ʻike kanaka. Ma kāna ʻōlelo i ʻike ʻia ai ke ʻano o ke kanaka, a he mea haʻaheo hoʻi no kekahi lāhui ka paʻa o ko lākou ʻōlelo ʻōiwi iā lākou. No laila, e kākoʻo kākou i ka ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, ka ʻōlelo ʻōiwi o kēia ʻāina, i kēlā me kēia lā!
Greetings, friends of these beloved islands of Hawaiʻi! It’s Hawaiian Language Month, long live the Hawaiian language!
The number of speakers of Hawaiian decreased dramatically from the early twentieth century. The Hawaiian language could still be heard in some communities, churches, and families but by the 1970s was pushed to the brink of extinction with only a few hundred native speakers left. In time, there would be people deeply devoted to ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi that would re-establish Hawaiian language medium schools to serve as a solid foundation for the revitalization and perpetuation of the language.
In 1978, the Hawaiian language was recognized as an official language of the State of Hawaiʻi in the constitutional convention. Currently, we recognize February as Hawaiian Language Month. An amendment passed in 2012 reads, “The month of February shall be known and designated as ʻʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi Month’ to celebrate and encourage the use of Hawaiian language.” It was the first act to be recognized in both Hawaiian and English by the State of Hawaiʻi.
Additionally, 2022 is the first year of the Decade of Indigenous Languages. According to the United Nations, indigenous peoples make up 4% of the world’s population, but they speak 4,000 indigenous languages out of an estimated 6,700 languages found around the world. There is knowledge about land and people in a language. During this decade, many peoples will strive to strengthen and preserve indigenous languages; that is true for Hawaiian language as well.
Here are some language goals for Hawaiian Language Month!
There is knowledge about the land and people in a language. Language is a source of identity and pride for a people. Therefore, let us support the Hawaiian language, the indigenous language of this land, today and every day!
For a list of events celebrating Hawaiian Language Month, visit www.mahinaolelohawaii.org.
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