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Visitors to Hawai‘i will inevitably not leave without encountering the term aloha. They will most likely hear the tour group greeting—Aloha — when they arrive. They will see aloha as part of many business names, as the closing salutation on signs and letters, and hear it as an everyday word spoken in encounters with local people (Hawai‘i residents). As they venture out and become more familiar and knowing of Hawai‘i they will sense that there is a deeper meaning and usage of the term and realize that the word is not just a word, but a concept that is multi-dimensional. It encompasses random acts of kindness, it means giving love to both close ones and strangers, and it represents an attitude, a way of thinking, a spirit of living, a philosophy.
Aloha is an integral part of the Hawaiian culture and can be considered its gift or legacy to the world. Giving aloha, acting with aloha, and caring with aloha sets examples for all mankind to follow.
Here is a collection mainly from those of Hawaiian ancestry of their understanding of aloha. Some are from authors or scholars, some from famous personages, and some from cultural practitioners. In some cases the meanings or definitions are in the form of proverbs or wise sayings handed down from generation to generation, in other cases they are represented by inspirational thoughts. Regardless the message is the same: live aloha, be aloha, share aloha, teach aloha, pass aloha on.
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