‘Ohana is family, but not just those with blood ties. It includes calabash cousins, the people close to our hearts, the ones frequently invited to share the food at our table. Today ‘ohana also loosely describes any place where you belong like your child’s school community or your work community. Therefore, all of my ‘ohana are not pictured.
‘Ohana embraces all aspects of affection and being connected. The origin of the word comes from ‘oha, or corm of the taro plant. Cecilia Kapua Lindo explained this in great detail in “The Spirit of ‘Ohana and the Polynesian Voyagers” for those who want to learn more about Hawaiian culture.
Obviously, family is very important is every culture. Reading Ms. Lindo’s article made me keenly aware of cultural parallels especially when she mentioned that the first written record of taro came from China.
Chinese New Year is a time to honor family too. The celebrations begin days before the New Year which officially begins on January 31, 2014. I’ll be celebrating with some of our extended ‘ohana. Of course I will be sharing gau with my family to help us stick together. This year my new addition to celebrate is this blue double fish water feature representing tenacity and happy union for marriage, family and business. The Conch Shell at the top represents safe travel, wisdom and good judgement. I wish all of you Gong Xi Fa Cai or Kung Hei Fat Choi during the Year of the Wooden Horse. May it be a year of peace, joy, harmony and prosperity for all of you.
Josh R’s post at The Daily Post inspired this post. Be sure to read it for your own inspiration.