Why bother learning the Hawaiian Language—a response, 2013.

Hawaiian Language Benefits All

…For all of the rare-in-the-world success that Hawaiian language revitalization has achieved in four decades, only a fraction of it has been paid for by public funds. For every dollar that’s ever been spent on teacher salaries, school rooms or curriculum, 10 times that has been expended from the pockets or personal schedules of people who dedicated their lives to making sure Hawaiian wasn’t erased by the sweep and force of English dominance. The kupuna who gave all of their golden years to learners and the teachers who create lessons from scratch are the tip of the iceberg. Unlike other places where government support of indigenous efforts is now the norm, most of the investment in Hawaiian language and culture always has been a people’s project. Hawaiian is the foundation of Hawai’i’s unique identity and knowledge base, not a useless adornment to a place with nice geography. That mind-set loses everything that makes these Islands so special. Money spent on keeping Hawai’i connected to its past and present isn’t hush money to assuage and entertain the natives, it’s an investment in Hawai’i’s continuity.

[Click here for the rest of this response to Bob Jones’ article (MidWeek 4/24/2013) which we put up in the previous post, written by Puakea Nogelmeier in the current issue of MidWeek.

What do you all think?]

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