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Hawaiian: Dead or Alive?
November 2013

Writer Constance Hale took a look at the current state of the Hawaiian language. Is it really rebounding as a useful, living language, or forever destined to be a niche dialect?

I say Hawaiian is alive and well. But many will disagree and they’re entitled to. I ka olelo no ke ola, i ka olelo no ka make. In language, there is life, in language, there is death. Olelo noeau. Hawaiian proverb. I choose life for all languages, while others may want to see death for others. Humans can be terrible, horrible and ugly animals if they choose to be. They can also choose to be the opposite of this, but, if their minds are colonized, that might be difficult. Just my opinion. Kau manao wale no. Aoia!
—Kaleo Keliikoa | Maili, Hawaii (via Facebook)

I’m a haole from the Mainland, but have been drawn to olelo Hawaii through the beautiful music I heard when first visiting the Islands. I’m listening to my Pandora “Hapa” music station as I write this. It seems to me that music is one of the powerful links to the preservation of the language. I sometimes search for translations of lyrics to try to decipher the meaning of the music, even though the music is already communicating through the heart. So, I say, keep promoting Hawaiian music and dance by as many means possible as a way to engage the youngest children to want to develop their language skills. It seems to me that living arts such as music and dance are the lighter fluid to ignite the bonfire.
—David Macdermott | San Antonio, Texas (via Facebook)

From Souvenirs to Saks
December 2013

Senior editor David Thompson profiled the International Market Place, which was slated to be cleared out for redevelopment by the end of the year.

Spent many a night hanging out and dancing in the clubs there in the ’70s, listening to Melveen Leed, Emma, Ed, Don, Kui and many other local musicians performing regularly. I spent a last night out at the Tree House before moving from Oahu to the Big Island at one point in my young adult life. Sad to hear it will be changing with the times. Delighted the Banyan Tree will be saved! Hawaii no ka oi!
—Laura Lynn Miller | Redding, Calif. (via Facebook)

Less and less for the middle class in Waikiki. Why go to Waikiki when it costs as much as Maui or Kauai? Waikiki Beach really is poor. The Waikiki area is much too urban and crowded. The only reason we went to Waikiki was it was affordable. The hotel we went to has gone up 50 percent, and try finding a meal for $10 that isn’t fast food. My $4,000 vacation next year will not be in Waikiki. Been to Waikiki 17 times; sadly, it will stay at 17.
—Dan Roraff | Owatonna, Minn. (via Facebook)

( Ahana koko lele )

Due to an editing error, our November 2013 feature “Hawaiian: Dead or Alive?” stated that the 10,000 native speakers of Hawaiian “amount to less than 0.1 percent of the statewide population.” It should have read, “less than 1 percent.”

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