I’m working on it: Hawaiian pride

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By Amanda Lee, News co-editor

Lately in Hawaiian History we’ve been learning a lot about the overthrow and the way Native Hawaiians stood up for their beliefs and what they felt our small islands deserved.

I walk out of class every day with a mix of emotions. I’m proud of the way our ancestors stood up for the wrong they felt was done to them, I’m angry about the misfortune that has plagued our history, and I’m sad about the state that Hawaiʻi has fallen into.

What ever happened to those past days when everyone knew how to speak Hawaiian? The days when everyone could sing at least one mele, or knew how to dance hula? It’s like our culture has slowly been diminishing and people aren’t sure what it means to be a Hawaiian.

It makes me wonder when being a “brownie” became a bad thing, when being a Hawaiian was something that people looked down upon.

Growing up, I always listed my Hawaiian nationality last. I believe the order was Caucasian, Chinese, and then Hawaiian. I used to hate my middle name because I associated it with bad things. Whenever I was in really big trouble my parents would call out my full name. I realized that when I heard my middle name, things were going to turn ugly.

Being Hawaiian wasn’t something that I truly appreciated or took pride in.

In song practice, the topic of Hawaiian pride came up again (it’s like this topic is everywhere!). This time though, it was about our school pride, which is essentially Hawaiian pride. There are people in our school who don’t know all the words to our alma mater (I admit, I get confused on a couple words, too…nobly, bravely, firm…etc.).

This is sad, and I am disappointed in myself. After all that this school has given me, I feel like the least I can do is be able to sing this song with the words in the right order.

I’m not trying to lecture you or tell you that none of you have pride in your heritage. That’s not my goal or intention. I want every one of you to realize that you are important, that you are unique and so special.

You come from a history that is completely unique to you. You live in a place where many people can only dream of seeing one day. You are given the tools to become something greater than yourself, to repay your grandparents, your aunties and uncles, your ancestors, for all they did to make sure that you can be where you are today.

You are a Native Hawaiian. Own that! Be proud of that! My message to you is to never be ashamed of where you come from and who you are. You are perfectly wonderful the way you are. I MUA KAMEHAMEHA!