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How Do I Properly Greet a Hawaiian Elder?

Mahalo For Sharing Your Aloha

hawaiian elder

How Do I Properly Greet a Hawaiian Elder?

Respect for elders is an important part of Hawaiian culture, and there are certain customs and traditions that are observed when greeting an elder. Here are some tips on how to properly greet a Hawaiian elder:

  • Use Proper Titles: Hawaiian culture places great importance on titles, and it is considered respectful to use them when addressing an elder. Address an elder with the honorific “kupuna” (meaning elder or grandparent) and their first or last name, such as “Kupuna John” or “Kupuna Smith.”
  • Show Respect: When greeting an elder, it is important to show respect through your body language and tone of voice. Stand up straight, make eye contact, and speak in a calm, respectful tone.
  • Offer a Lei: It is customary to offer a lei as a sign of respect when greeting someone, especially an elder. You can purchase a lei at a local market or make one yourself using fresh flowers or other materials.
  • Practice Aloha: The Hawaiian concept of aloha is about showing love, kindness, and compassion towards others. When greeting an elder, it is important to practice aloha by being friendly, welcoming, and showing a genuine interest in their well-being.

Remember, showing respect for elders is an important part of Hawaiian culture, and taking the time to learn and observe these customs can help you to connect with the culture and people of Hawaii.

Some artwork from Hawaii.

Mahalo For Sharing Your Aloha
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