Friends in Hawaii


Hawaii is called the Aloha (greetings) State because the people there are friendly to all who visit their island home.

It is one of the most colorful, beautiful, and interesting places in all the world.

Although Hawaii is part of the United States, it is about 2,400 miles away from any other state and is separated from them by the Pacific Ocean.

When you visit Hawaii, you will probably be greeted by receiving a lei to wear around your neck. A lei is a wreath made from flowers strung together or from shells or other material.

When most people think of Hawaii, they think of the hula dance. With gracefully swaying hips and waving arms, the hula dance tells a story and describes the beautiful island scenery. Each body movement has some special meaning. Dances are accompanied by soft dreamy music played on a Hawaiian steel guitar or a ukulele. The ukulele (leaping flea) was developed from a small guitar taken to Hawaii from Portugal about a hundred years ago.

Hawaii is made up of 122 different islands, but there are only seven on which people live. Oahu, the best known of the islands, is where Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is located.

The Hawaiian alphabet is made up of only twelve letters: the vowels a, e, i, o, u, and the consonants h, k, l, m, n, p, and w. All the vowels are separate sounds, and a vowel follows every consonant, with the accent of most words falling on the next-to-the last syllable. These are the sounds of the vowels:

a—ah

e—a

i—e

o—oh

u—oo

After you learn the Hawaiian alphabet, try counting to ten:

1—kahi

6—ono

2—lua

7—hiku

3—kolu

8—walu

4—ha

9—iwa

5—lima

10—umi

You could even learn to sing “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.”

Ke ma-ke-ma-ke nei O le-su,
I ko-’u nei na-au’
E ho-o-ma-na-o iaia,
I ko-u mau la a-pau.
Chorus:
O le-su, O le-su,
Ka-he-a mai la O le-su,
O le-su, O le-su,
Ke Ka-hea mai nei i-a’u.

[illustration] Illustrated by Dick Brown