Episode 110: Why Your Hawaiian Trip is Incomplete Without Embracing the Spirit of Aloha! With Guest Elijah Kalā
Why You Need to Listen to This Episode:
Hawaiian vacations are more than just pristine beaches and whale watching. Ever thought of immersing yourself in the true spirit of Aloha?
In this episode, Bryan Murphy sits down with Hawaiian native and culture advocate, Elijah Kalā, to unearth the heart and soul of Hawaii. You’ll discover why traveling with Aloha is the golden ticket to a memorable Hawaiian experience.
Don’t just be a tourist; become part of the community. Dive in, and find out how.
This post gives general info and isn’t legal or authoritative advice. It helps travelers with tips but can’t replace personal abilities, fitness, experience, or local knowledge. Marine activities have risks; assess conditions and follow local laws.
Hawaii has always been a dream destination for many. But how can you ensure that your trip to these beautiful islands is not just about ticking off the touristy things but also about giving back and embracing the spirit of Aloha? This episode holds the answers.
1. The True Spirit of Aloha
Aloha is not just a greeting; it’s a way of life in Hawaii. Elijah sheds light on how the spirit of Aloha is in giving. Before you jump into the exhilarating excursions, think about giving back. Not only does it set the tone for your trip, but it also brings a heartbeat to your entire vacation experience. As Elijah says, “The real spirit of Aloha is in the giving.”
2. Authentic Hawaiian Experiences
Why settle for a packaged version of Hawaii when you can get access to the real deal? Elijah emphasizes the importance of building relationships with the locals. Volunteering or engaging in community services at the start of your trip will pave the way for genuine interactions, leading to invitations to local events like a first birthday luau.
3. Understanding and Embodying Hawaiian Cultural Values
This isn’t just about respecting customs. It’s about truly understanding the values and embodying them. From simple gestures like taking off your shoes before entering a house to acknowledging someone who lets you merge in traffic with a wave and a shaka, it’s these small acts that make a big difference.
Topics Discussed in This Episode:
- The essence of giving back while on vacation.
- Why starting your trip with community involvement matters.
- The significance of genuine relationships with the locals.
- Avoiding the “haole mindset” and truly embracing Hawaiian cultural values.
- Importance of respecting and understanding cultural norms for an enriched experience.
Wrapping It Up
Hawaii offers a wealth of experiences. But to truly appreciate its beauty and culture, one needs to go beyond the regular touristy activities. As Bryan and Elijah delve into the depth of Hawaiian culture and values, it becomes clear that to travel with Aloha is to embrace, respect, and give back. Hawaii isn’t just a destination; it’s an experience, a feeling, and a way of life.
Find out more about today’s guest…
Mentioned within the episode…
- Lahaina Strong Instagram
- The previous episode with Elijah
Self-Guided Island Tours
- Episode 70 – How to Volunteer in Hawaii
Episode 87 – How to Travel Responsibly to Hawaii
Episode 35 – 5 Things to Not Do in Hawaii
Travel Pono (responsibly)
Connect With Us
- Buy Me a Coffee
- Send Us a Message with any questions about Hawaii
- Hawaii’s Best Instagram
- Join our Hawaii’s Best Travel Facebook group here now! It’s the perfect place to ask any questions and to be inspired!
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[00:00:00] Bryan Murphy:
[00:00:00] Welcome to this episode of Hawaii's best today. We are joined with Elijah Kala, who is a Hawaiian thought leader and creative on the Island of Oahu. Today we talk about the reopening or the start of the phase reopening of West Maui, what it means to travel to West Maui right now and how to do that responsibly, and we'll learn more about that from Elijah with, as we impact.
[00:00:24] the word aloha in a new way today on the episode. So let's go ahead and let's talk story with Elijah from the island of Oahu.
[00:00:40] Elijah. Thank you so much for coming back on the podcast. It's great to see you. It's great to connect again. But for everyone who has turning in again and listening to you again, just kind of catch us up to speed. How are you doing? What's new in your world?
[00:00:55] Elijah Kalā: Hey, peace and love brother. It's beautiful to be present with you again on the podcast.[00:01:00]
[00:01:00] I appreciate all the good mana and the good work. A lot of updates, you know, a lot of things have been taking place in Hawaii as everybody all around the world has already heard of that huge event and what is still happening in Maui with all the wildfires and all the people passing away because of the wildfires.
[00:01:21] And the things that have been observed from people in the community, in our relationship to people in government, the state of Hawaii, the Maui County, a lot of times it's hard to maintain peace and well being amongst all in these times because everybody is hurting and is in pain and is processing all the grief and the trauma that has taken place in Maui and the state of Hawaii.
[00:01:49] I've been trying to do my best to be a contributor on the positive end to the healing, the health and well being of our communities and, and it seems like this is [00:02:00] a time where the spirit of Aloha and understanding how to come and engage with Hawaiʻi as a visitor to Hawaiʻi has its highest importance than I think it's ever been in my At least recent years, you know, things in tourism has always been a little bit of a hard situation on knowing how to mitigate and how to teach information in an accurate way.
[00:02:26] And I feel now so crucial for people visiting Hawaiʻi to know how to do this the best that they can, especially if they're coming. into Maui, heed the spirit and the voices of the community and what is needed in the community in this current time and just honoring and respecting that. So I appreciate the platform to speak on the issue and to share and to utilize everything that I'm able to provide in a positive way.
[00:02:55] And so it's good to be on the platform again and to speak the truth with you. I [00:03:00]
[00:03:00] Bryan Murphy: appreciate that and I appreciate your heart and your wisdom and I look forward to just learning more from you today and I think for everyone else tuning in to learning more how and why to travel to Hawaii with Aloha and especially to the island of Maui.
[00:03:18] Thinking about it's only been two months and Out of so much tragedy, there has been so much love too. There has been so much aloha shown around the world and in the local community as well on Maui. And going back two months, I'm curious about what those initial conversations were. were for you with, uh, the Hui and where are they at currently, because really want to try to get a pulse of the West Maui community and where things are at today.
[00:03:54] But for you, if you could take us back to that initial moment when you learned [00:04:00] of what was going on in line and then what those days were like for you and your communication afterwards. I appreciate
[00:04:07] Elijah Kalā: the question, brother. The. Processing of that event, when I think about it two months ago, was, as I'm sure is for all of our community, was a huge, huge, huge shock.
[00:04:21] The heavy impacts that had been caused. In a quick time frame, like it seemed like he just happened out of nowhere and so I think back on August 8th and what took place in Maui, me hearing about it, me seeing it immediately, what is going on, it's almost a pause. hard to compute the emotions that sparked in me, sparked in the community on that day.
[00:04:52] But I do know that what immediately happened in me as well as the processing of the pain and the [00:05:00] grief of just seeing this and, And I wasn't sure what to do on the outside of just prayer, you know, and to hold space and to hold the hearts of the community that has been impacted to that level because these are our cousins or aunties or uncles, you know, people who are in our community who have been in our community for a long time and I come from another island, but we're all connected and I've been connected to people who are in Lahaina for all of my life.
[00:05:30] I have aunties and uncles who live in Maui. I have close friends who live in Maui. You know, I knew immediately that if there's any way that I can help and support I'm going to do it. So I took action on contacting people and actually seeing, you know, is there any particular needs that people here in O'ahu are able to provide in this time?
[00:05:54] You know, like what is needed? And we seen immediately that one of the biggest [00:06:00] needs was just to get boots on the ground and to help people in the community to establish hubs of distribution on all the goods on top of. of prayer and ceremony of culture on top of all of that stuff as well, right? And so I actually took action.
[00:06:18] I stepped into action. I brought a whole team of people who came from Oahu to go into Maui and to help as boots on the ground, because there was all of the things happening in Maui, all of the things, all at the same time, and people are scrambling and. You know, the infrastructure and the organization was needed.
[00:06:43] And so I had an honor to be in Maui on the 11th or the 12th. This was on the 11th. I believe we came into Maui with a whole group of people in Ma'an, came from Oahu to go put in the ground in Lahaina, you know, and just to [00:07:00] really serve and to give back, wasn't interested in any other thing, just being present, you know, we didn't have.
[00:07:06] Any inspiration to take videos and pictures and anything. We just wanted to go in there and help our people. And that's what we did for, for really two days in the parking lot of the Walgreens, uh, with the leadership of Anti Ani and her amazing husband. Yeah. Who I would say is one of the chiefs of Maui Spa, specifically in la.
[00:07:29] Love for his work, for his man. And for his wife, Auntie Ui, for holding down the space, you know, and being open arms in us, in our group, being able to come and to help. Yeah. And, and so we stayed there for two days. And so it's evolved, you know, in these two months, hubs had been in place, influence of Birdcrofts and FEMA has been coming through, you know, and in different perspectives, people see it as a negative, people see it as a positive, you know, I see it as people that are coming in to [00:08:00] just help and.
[00:08:00] I believe it's been evolving in a pretty positive way, but as we know, in these times, a lot of people who are quote unquote opportunists, they come in as well to really seize the opportunity, which brought up issues of like water rights and land grabs and all of these other issues that, that. The people in the community in their healing process have to, to see these issues and to engage in those issues at the same time as going through their healing on top of everything, like they're going through all this stuff and which is, I am a huge advocate in knowing that, however, the people on the outside of Maui are able to support, like, Thanks.
[00:08:42] Thanks. I haven't had a chance, you know, you know, because of personal Kuleana in our family to go back into Maui since then. Every single day I've been on phone calls, I've been organizing to help to bring resources and foods and distribution teams and networks [00:09:00] into Maui to aid in the efforts through all of the people in groups who are boots on the ground.
[00:09:05] And I'm an advocate. That if you can do anything, you do what you can with what you have, with where you are. You don't need to, to be in Maui to help in Maui. You can give in whatever way that is. And so that's a little bit of an update on our end. And we've been putting together a food distribution pipeline from Alaska to bring in fish and proteins into Maui on a consistent basis.
[00:09:28] It's been in the works for the past two weeks. It just really had been put into place. And it's kicking off well with our team and partners who is in Oregon and Washington. The organization's name is, uh, the We Do Better Relief. And the other organization is the Wayne Foundation in Washington. We've been putting pieces together to make that happen.
[00:09:49] And it's been going great. But you know, there's many pieces to the puzzle. And... A lot of parts and pieces. So as positives and negatives, and I think the [00:10:00] positive is really seeing our community come together in this time and being an example for the world.
[00:10:04] Bryan Murphy: Yeah. Well said. Yeah. I think a lot of people are still asking that question, how they can help most people who are listening to this are off Island are on the continental U S and wanting to know how they can still support.
[00:10:17] I I'm curious what that main thing is today. Like what's the biggest from your conversations. The biggest problem, the biggest topic of discussion that the community right now is wrestling and trying to solve and move through.
[00:10:36] Elijah Kalā: Yes, in our current day, our key point of discussion right now is the reopening.
[00:10:43] Of all of West Maui tour tourism on October 8th, and so the community leaders who are in Lahaina have all come together to, to actually protest, to protect, and to actually stand in Aloha [00:11:00] Aina at the state capitol yesterday and hand in hand to have a press conference and to present a whole load of petitions from people in Maui, For people in Oahu, a whole list of petitions of advocates of people who think that this isn't the right time and one of the biggest issues that had led to all of this is a lack of authenticity and communication in the state government.
[00:11:26] And so. Our history in Hawaiʻi has been the culmination of a lot of miscommunication, a lot of confusion, and therefore when that is put into the culmination of what's happening today and this advocacy advocacy. In the government of reopening all the hotels in West Maui, it hasn't even officially reopened and there's already been people that has been into West Maui and the kind of people that have been coming into West Maui.
[00:11:57] It seems according to, to [00:12:00] the experiences and the voices of our people have been extremely disrespectful, and I don't use that word lightly, extremely because. I think people who have ignorance, they oftentimes, they don't even know, but it's not always extreme, but what's been happening has been extreme because of the context of the situation of the healing of our communities and the pushback and the resistance of community leaders to the state government to prolong and to push back this reopening, which currently had been scheduled for October 8th, This year, which I find is problematic because that's literally two months after the catastrophe of an entire community.
[00:12:44] And this isn't just like a small community, you know, people think about community, but they're only thinking about a neighborhood or two neighborhoods. You're, you're, you're like talking about 8, 000 people who have been, have been impacted through this. [00:13:00] This event and then have been displaced have had to be housed in the hotels in West Maui that then adds a whole other layer that people that have been displaced who have lost everything are having to move again and again and again out of the hotels into these places that don't have a kitchen.
[00:13:21] It's living in a tent in this time of displacement. It is also. hurtful to the context and situation of the amount of healing and the grieving that needs to take place in the community that is being overlooked because of economic reasons. And the government is not putting all the regulations and the protocols in place for visitors to respectfully Head into West Maui and to not stop and take pictures and, and have fun and party on the outskirts of the impacted zone.
[00:13:58] It puts people who are [00:14:00] visiting at risk because our people are going to protect. Everything in their hometown. So this is also a thing to protect visitors of having a good experience if they go into Maui. If you go into West Maui and you don't operate correctly, there is a potential that you will engage in conflict with our community because our community is fed up.
[00:14:22] So to understand that and to realize when you're going into those spaces to be informed of the trauma, to be informed of the current affairs, and to be informed of the cultural values that you need to come correct into West Maui. What
[00:14:39] Bryan Murphy: are your thoughts on the mayor of Maui, Richard Bison, who has this Because at first it was October 8th, West Maui, all West Maui open.
[00:14:51] And now there's this phase reopening where phase one is October 8th. And that's for, uh, [00:15:00] by other words, Carlton, um, those communities up there, uh, Kapalua, right? Phase two is the kind of cotton poly area, and that's only going to be assessed once phase one has been. You know, assessed and, and then it moves to phase three, which is closer to the Lahaina area.
[00:15:16] But what maybe people don't realize is you got to drive through Lahaina in order to, or Lahaina bypass in order to get up to those other communities.
[00:15:27] Elijah Kalā: Yeah. Yes. So. Yeah, to have access into the Ritz Carlton, to have access into all of the main areas in West Maui, you are automatically going to get exposed to all of light.
[00:15:43] Right. It's right there, right? And that proposes an issue because people have been pit stopping. It's an odd situation. That needs leadership, which I feel has not been fully answered from the county level [00:16:00] and the state level or potentially in their perspective, it has, but through the community perspective, there's confusion on the intentions.
[00:16:10] There, there hasn't been clear communication of what is going to happen, why it's going to happen and how the infrastructure is going to be built out to maintain the wellbeing of the community.
[00:16:22] Bryan Murphy: So for people traveling to Maui and you mentioned, you know, you're going to be driving through Lahaina area, going up to the Ritz or whatever, or to the West End in a couple months, whenever that.
[00:16:36] You know, reopens and maybe just traveling to Hawaii in general and the rest of Maui, this concept of the evolution of Aloha and yes, want to help give people visitors some actionable steps into how to best be prepared traveling into West Maui in particular. That'll kind of be our main. you [00:17:00] know, talking point, but just into all the different communities of Hawaii.
[00:17:05] We've talked a little bit on the last episode and I want to encourage people who are listening now to make sure to go listen to that. I'll link that below. Yes. And we talked a little bit about how to be a responsible. Traveler and some good reminders and some good takeaway points there and a lot has changed since then we thought I think the reopening, you know, the covid area and that reopening of tourism was a lot of tension and a lot of navigating and this is like on a whole other Level, I do want to acknowledge cause we've had a lot of local businesses on the podcast who are on Maui, uh, a couple, well, Lonnie's for, for example, shave ice, lost a couple of locations in line off front street.
[00:17:48] So I do want to acknowledge the local businesses and there are ways to continue to support some of those local businesses. We're talking about visitors traveling through a disaster [00:18:00] area and not exactly sure how to navigate. that and how to one, hold space, but also to have conversations. So I'm going to kind of kick it over to you talking about this kind of newer acronym of, of Aloha.
[00:18:16] Elijah Kalā: I have to give a little bit of a plug to a colleague in mine in the introduction of this work of spreading the message of Aloha in an applicable way today. And in her work of the evolution of Aloha, her name is Etijeri Ebelaroza for everybody interested in expanding in this research, just go on to Google and put in the evolution of Aloha.
[00:18:39] She puts it pretty plainly on the important principles of how the spirit of Aloha is able to lead us in current day through this acronym. And I find that it's so important to me that if people. are going into Maui to have the protocols in place [00:19:00] to know how to behave appropriately, to how to help people in the community appropriately, and how to exist in Maui in a pono way.
[00:19:11] And in order to do that, I'm implementing her acronym of A L O H A, the Spirit of Aloha, so that it can be utilized. from all the visitors out there on how to exist in Maui in this time. So in this acronym of Aloha, the A L O H A, her first A is to ask. And so I want to encourage everybody who is going to Maui to ask the right questions before going in.
[00:19:39] Yeah. That, that really asks how you can serve, how are you able to be in contribution to the community and to organizations that are in the community right now who could need your help. Instead of you just going into Maui and to extract and to consume and to lay on the beach and have a vacation, you can still [00:20:00] do those things on the outside of West Maui and at the same time asking yourself how you can serve in the spirit of aloha while you are being there.
[00:20:09] So that as you are coming to Hawaiʻi, you are in contribution to Hawaiʻi and aren't going to be a person that adds to the hurting and adds to the issue. L is to listen, is to listen to the voice of the community, is to listen to what is going on in the community and to respect the people in the community who are asking you to not go into particular areas.
[00:20:32] I think it's super simple in a perspective of human rights to understand that this is common sense stuff that our people. Who are going through pain and trauma, they don't need people who are entitled, who have a perspective of to use and to extract things in Maui because they have the right to is to be a human is to come to your heart center.
[00:20:57] And in order to do that, you must listen to the [00:21:00] community to understand the needs of the community and to respect them. And everything you do while you are in Maui. And if it is to not go into West Maui, even if people in the government is reopening West Maui, if the community is asking me to not go to West Maui, we encourage you to not go into West Maui.
[00:21:20] If you have a booking at the Ritz Carlton, Kaanapali, and it's been booked for a year or whatnot, and you can't change the reservation and they're going to give you a deal to still come. Okay. Awesome. Right. But still listen to the community. And if you do have bookings to try to do your best, that if you could reserve elsewhere outside of West Maui to try to do that for you, because the community voice is pretty unified in the fact that having people going to West Maui is not the right time for this right now.
[00:21:50] And we need people who are interested in the advocacy and to be in alliance to the community. If you're going [00:22:00] into it to specifically. into the island of Maui. All is to observe. It's to see that our issues in the community is not hard to observe, but you to observe what's going on where you are at the main issues happening so that you are informed when you're in Maui, because these things are evolving every single day, all the issues that is happening in the community.
[00:22:27] It's changing every day. So observe and sit and get information needed to allow yourself to then be empowered to then go into H. It's to live and operate in a heartfelt way. It's to know that people who are in the community are going through some hard times and what we mean, yes. is economic input, spend your money with, with each of the businesses that is Kama'aina owned, is locally owned, but for you to operate in a [00:23:00] heartfelt way, to live in a spirit of love and understanding that, you know, the pain and trauma that has taken place in Maui and to operate accordingly, and to not be a person who, who has that, that really interests and.
[00:23:17] An inner desire to go into spaces in West Maui and to take pictures and, you know, to take videos and all that stuff just to put on Instagram and to claim that you are in Maui spreading a wrong message of the community. So I want to encourage you to operate through the heart center and A. In the last A is to adapt and to acknowledge, to adapt and to acknowledge.
[00:23:43] Yeah. Adapting and acknowledging each and every day, if you are in Maui, the things that need to be done to help our community to prosper. Yeah. Cause things in tourism has the potential to change forever according to what is [00:24:00] happening in West Malway right now. And so if you have things that, that is scheduled and an incident takes place and it wants to be rescheduled, I encourage you guys to, instead of taking an approach of engaging in the conflict to try to do your best.
[00:24:17] To adapt and to acknowledge the fact that a lot of our people are trying to do their best to, to really build, to heal, to breathe. Our people in our community are doing their best who have businesses to operate in a pono manner. So in being a respectful visitor, it requires of you to acknowledge the hardship, it's to acknowledge all the negative.
[00:24:44] But it's to also acknowledge the positive of the community, that what is happening right now in our community is powerful. And, and it's astounding to see how our community is coming together in Aloha right now. And that you can take [00:25:00] that spirit, be a part of the community in that time as you visit.
[00:25:04] Contribute it and go back home and spread the message of Aloha to your communities and family. So in the evolution of Aloha, Ask, listen, observe, be heart focused. And acknowledge and adapt to every situation of it. I hope that makes sense for everybody.
[00:25:21] Bryan Murphy: Yeah. You mentioned something about being a part of the community and I want to get your perspective on what are some of the things that people can tangibly do while they're on vacation.
[00:25:31] Maybe just kind of expanding someone's view from, you know, we're coming up on whale watching and whale watching is cool and it's cool to do the boat and yeah. And then, but what are some things that you can do? So while visiting Hawaii that are part of the community, I think of like a little patch or something like that volunteering, but what, what are some things that you would say?
[00:25:54] Elijah Kalā: Yes. So, you know, for, for all visitors and this isn't just people who [00:26:00] are going into Maui, we encourage. That you look for many ways to give back as much as possible and aim to put all of those experiences and excursions of how to give back into the land, into the ecosystems, to feed the homeless, to really aid in the healing and the conservation efforts of different organizations.
[00:26:21] It's not that hard to pinpoint these organizations with just an easy Google search, an easy Google search. It's going to give you access to these organizations that has opportunities to give back and to volunteer. I encourage you to put that in the beginning of your trip. And the reason why is because if you're going to come to Hawaii, the real spirit of Aloha is in the giving.
[00:26:44] Yeah. It's not in being able to go into Maui. And to excursion and to whale watch and to do all of these things, but to give back first and as you give back, it really begins to create a heartbeat for your entire trip after that, [00:27:00] that as you consume and receive and have good experiences in tours and. And scuba diving and doing these good things in Maui that you know that your intention was first to give back.
[00:27:12] And that's what you did. Yeah. So important in majority of people never even have the chance to give back because they plan their trip to go experience all these things first. And at the ending of their trip, they're too tired to even give back already. So put all of your energy into giving back first.
[00:27:29] And what it's going to do is begin to help you build relationships to people in these organizations that are going to. access you to opportunities to have authentic experiences and relationships to people that live in Maui, that live in Hawai'i, come from Hawai'i, and who want to help you. And your intentions are going to be made clear if you schedule your trip accordingly, giving back first, because that's the spirit of Aloha is to give and have no expectation to receive.
[00:27:57] Well, you're going to receive anyway, because you're [00:28:00] coming to Albany to experience Albany, of course. So put the give back in the forefront of your experience in Albany. I
[00:28:05] Bryan Murphy: had a picture of someone, you know, planning the trip and they booked all their, the stuff they're going to do for the community at the beginning of the trip, and they didn't have anything planned at the end of their trip.
[00:28:16] And I already picture like you're going to end up at some auntie's house at some, you know. You know, you know, first, first, uh, birthday luau or something like that. Like you're going to be, you receive so with so much love and so much aloha. You know, putting
[00:28:30] Elijah Kalā: that first. Yes. You know, as we all know, the key things that people from all around the world, they just love about Hawaii is specifically Hawaiian cultural values.
[00:28:42] You know, is how to treat each other, how to have a connection to Aina, to ha to crema. You know, and a key part of that is being in Ohana, is to be connected to people in the community and always knowing that [00:29:00] our people take in anybody all the time, as long as you are respectful, as long as you are honorable, and as long as quote, unquote, You know, your place, because, you know, people can absolutely give you an invitation to come to a luau and do things.
[00:29:19] But once you begin to slip out of line, you will know immediately. Yeah. And so try to do your best to understand Hawaiian culture values, what that looks like, how to embody them previous to coming, because when you embody Hawaiian culture values in Hawai'i, you will get access to real Hawai'i. Instead of in essence, like a package version of Hawaii, you can get access to what is true and what is honorable if your intentions are clear and pure, it will be seen.
[00:29:47] Yeah. Well,
[00:29:48] Bryan Murphy: someone visiting, you know, who am I to go into this other community? I'm just, you know, some Howley. Maybe we could talk about the Howley. Mindset [00:30:00] versus, because that's really what it boils down to is a howling mindset. Not necessarily, we're not talking about race and yes, but let's maybe unpack that a little bit and help clear that up for some people.
[00:30:15] Elijah Kalā: So in the implementation of the word howling, yeah, as actually spoken about on our last episode, it's just. It's easy and simply a foreigner, a person that is not a Kama'aina to a particular place, right? And so if I were to go to California in that context, I would be considered to be a haole to California.
[00:30:36] But in implementing... You know, things in the real world and experiences in the real world, as any word, it's meaning is in the context of the use of the word. Yeah. And each time people now hear things like howling, it always takes a derogatory implication. connotation that to be a [00:31:00] haole is not good. That's not always true, but if you're utilizing the context of being able to live according to Hawaiian culture values, and you don't, anything on the outside of Hawaiian culture values in Hawaii could be considered to be haole.
[00:31:16] Like if you get invited to eat at an auntie and uncle's house and you walk into the house and have all of your shoes on. Yeah, that small little thing, like, like actually keeping your slippers or your shoes on in the household is haole, but it means a lot more than just that. It also means that there is a lack of awareness to how to operate in Hawaii, that people hardly realize that as, you know, like an example, if I was going to spend a week in Japan, the cultural customs in Japan is much different than me in Hawaii.
[00:31:51] And so to be. An expressive person in a quiet place in Japan is considered to be haole [00:32:00] to Japan. It's not in alignment to the cultural customs and values of those people. And therefore, if you're coming to Hawaii. The context is the same. You try your best to live according to the, each of the cultural customs that are of Hawaii.
[00:32:17] And when you don't, that is extremely obvious. And I say extremely again, because our people in Hawaii are able to pinpoint a person who is not considered to be, who has no idea of these values. It doesn't matter how you look. It doesn't matter skin color. It doesn't matter who you come from and the language you speak.
[00:32:36] It's in your energy. It's in your behaviors. It is in your actions. If you come to Hawaii and are just a little bit disrespectful, it's seen. If you come to Hawaii and are in a traffic jam and choose to, to actually be disrespectful in an engagement, or you pull out, this is the easiest way to see a person is not [00:33:00] from all the way is you pull out or you go into another lane, a person lets you in and you don't acknowledge them and give them thanks.
[00:33:07] Yeah. Just that small stuff, like just giving a wave and a shocker to whoever this person is, it's such a great indicator that you have an understanding of Hawaiian cultural customs. Yeah. And these things need to be, I mean, you know, I'm not going to say enforced, but they need to be encouraged to a, a degree because, because if you don't, it actually puts a hindrance on your experience in Hawaii.
[00:33:34] You want to have a good experience in Hawaii? It's as simply as embodying Hawaiian culture principles, Hawaiian culture values in the smallest way, like saying hello to people, if they say hello to you and not giving them a stink eye, like, you know, to give you aloha, even if it's uncomfortable for you, it's going to help you, even if you go back home and you begin implementing, because we haole.[00:34:00]
[00:34:01] Bryan Murphy: Well said. I thank you so much for your mana. Thank you so much for your time. And one of the things I wanted to kind of leave those listening with today is an encouragement, an empowerment to do the right thing because thinking about the community. Uh, West Maui in particular, having those voices also from visitors in agreement and in alignment with community is important as a visitor.
[00:34:32] So a big part of this conversation and a lot of the conversations that we have on this podcast are to help equip and inform so that you know what to do and what to say when you're there and you know what is haole and what is. Not Howley and you can come alongside of community, but, uh, I kind of just want to hit it over to you and just, just to encourage and empower visitors who are coming with this mindset [00:35:00] of wanting to help and wanting to serve, uh,
[00:35:02] Elijah Kalā: Hawaii.
[00:35:02] It's as easy as this. Speak less and listen more, hug more, acknowledge more, embrace more, spread love more. That's really all it is because in that. In that all the magic happens. Yeah. There's plenty of things that people can do, you know, but it's all mechanics, you know, like, like being able to pick up, pick up a piece of trash on the ground, you know, it's, it's all of that stuff is just mechanical, right.
[00:35:37] To express peace and love to a person on the street who is homeless. Awesome. But like embodying all of this, embracing all of this. And to live it. So to listen more, hug more, love more, embrace more, give your love more in every way, in every context, giving it more and more and [00:36:00] looking for opportunities to give it like pinpointing those, those spaces and opportunities that you know what I'm eating at a restaurant today.
[00:36:09] Or, you know, in the process of planning the trip, Hey, I'm going to eat at this restaurant, eat at this restaurant, eat over here, hang out over here, aim to give more. Yeah. In any way that you can, because our communities, even though people aren't in West Maui, all of Hawaii is impacted by this. Everybody is impacted by this because we have our Our aunties, our uncles, our cousins, our grandmas, our grandpas, who have been impacted by this, right?
[00:36:36] And so to, to actually step in and to be a hero in disguise in any way you can be a hero in disguise. Yeah. It's not for the cloud. It's not for recognition. Just come and give, come and give and keep on keeping on in planting the seeds of a new future for love, for peace and prosperity for all people beginning with you, your family, [00:37:00] your communities.
[00:37:01] And when you're here in Hawaii, then plant those seeds in Hawaii as well. Yeah. So with everybody in the world out there, I give you love. I give you peace. I give you encouragement and, and I, in, in all that I have to inspire you to plant those seeds of love, of understanding of peace and wellbeing, because that's how.
[00:37:21] Our future is created for all of Hawaii and beyond. I love you all. And if you come to Hawaii, come and if you're in Oahu, come and DM me. I take you private tour, a little bit expensive, but I think it's worth it.
[00:37:38] Bryan Murphy: Elijah, I love you, my brother. Thank you so much for your time.
[00:37:42] Elijah Kalā: Hey, bro, I appreciate you so much, brother.
[00:37:43] Hey, bro, you keep on the good work, my man. And I look forward to speaking to you soon, bro. Thank you, bro. Aloha.
[00:37:50] Bryan Murphy: To get everything from today's episode, go to hawaiisbesttravel. com slash episode 110. And there you find everything that was discussed in a [00:38:00] convenient spot. Again, thank you so much for your time.
[00:38:02] And if you know anyone who is traveling to Maui anytime soon, please share this episode with them. That would be a great help in spreading the word and the voices of the community of Lahaina. Well, until next time, be well, aloha.