What Is Ola?
What prompted this 36-year old Hawaiian language immersion school graduate to set off on a three-country adventure that took her to the glaciers of Greenland, had her building human-towers in Barcelona, and sitting with policy makers in the National Assembly for Wales? To say she’d go to the ends of the earth to see the Hawaiian language “OLA” – or live – might not be too far off the mark!
Over the past 35+ years, the mantra of the Hawaiian language movement has been “E Ola ka ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.” “The Hawaiian language shall live.” “What is Ola?” is a travel documentary hosted by Keli‘i Wilson, one of the very first immersion graduates and daughter of two ‘Aha Pūnana Leo founders. Born in the mid-80’s, Keli‘i and her brother were a couple of the very first children, outside the Ni‘ihau community, to once again be raised speaking Hawaiian as their first language. Join us as we follow Keli‘i to Greenland, Spain and Wales – home to thriving indigenous languages – to get an idea of what this state of ola might look like for our ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i in the future.
This is a great opportunity to engage learners of all ages in championing our indigenous languages. While the handouts reference the Hawaiian language and movement at home in Hawaiʻi, we are hopeful that the sample questions posed are just as easily applied to your own language efforts.