THE HAWAIIAN LANGUAGE
O Mr. Editor of the Kuokoa Newspaper, Much Aloha to you:—Please allow me a column, for the title placed above.
When I read on page 8, column 2, about the Hawaiian language, I was ecstatic about what was published by the Kuokoa Newspaper on the topic of Mr. Coelho pertaining to the Hawaiian language.
This is seen on the streets, at pleasant gatherings, at meetings, and at the homes; these are just Hawaiians that I am talking about; they just speak English.
Hear me, O My flesh and blood, My beloved people: you are known as a Hawaiian and a lahui by your language; should you lose your mother tongue, you will end up like the Negroes and the Indians; they’ve no lahui and no language.
Pio ka oe ahi,
Pau ka oe hana;
I ikeia mai no oe,
I ka wa moni o ko eke;
Nele ae kahi mea poepoe,
Pau ka pilina ma ka aoao.
You light is extinguished,
Your work has come to an end;
You are acknowledged,
When there is money in your purse;
When the round objects are gone,
You have no place by her side.
Therefore, this writer is calling out to you: do not squander your gold and silver—your mother tongue. Your language is how it is known that you are an educated and superior people, like the great nations of the world. Look at Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and America. Every nation learns their own language; why? For glory, for knowledge; it is known that one is British by the language he knows. The writer of the Psalms says: “That glory may dwell in our land.” How is our nation to have glory?
By abandoning our mother tongue and speaking the language of the malihini, are we knowledgeable, skilled and prepared in that language?
Are you not the foremost, O Tiny Hawaii, by way of the mother tongue of Opukahaia who travelled to America to explain the troubled existence of his lahui, and asked with tears streaming down to send missionary parents for Hawaii nei?
Did he go to America speaking English? No; he went with his own mother tongue. And when the missionaries arrived here in Hawaii, it is through the Hawaiian language that you received education, knowledge, honor, peace, justness, prosperity, righteousness, faith, and aloha.
What nation to the north or south latitudes of the equator is in peace like that of Hawaii? None, there is not a one; it is just Hawaii!
Therefore, this writer calls out: Don’t abandon your mother tongue so that glory may always dwell in Hawaii nei. We must build Hawaiian schools, and teach Hawaiian curriculum. Not just one eye, or one hand and foot. [? Aole i hookahi wale no maka, a i hookahi wale no lima a wawae.] When the legislature meets again the representatives and senators should make a law for teaching the Hawaiian language.
I give my thanks to the Honorable H. M. Kaniho, the first one to submit this bill in his first year there. It did not pass because some of the representatives just watched and did nothing. And I give my thanks to D. M. Kupihea who continually submits this bill.
Honolulu’s people should reelect the Hon. Kupihea so that this bill will once again be submitted; and should it be passed, then both eyes will be gotten: both Hawaiian language and English; and this writer will boast in advance that glory will indeed forever dwell in our land, for all times.
This writer is not saying that we should only teach these languages, but this responsibility is yours to teach knowledge and glory for your life. To be taken up at another time!
To the typesetting boys goes my love, and my unending aloha to the Editor.
[This is probably written in response to the article, “KA OLELO HAWAII.” written by Mrs. Kikilia P. Kealoha of Kaimuki, in Kuokoa on 6/18/1920, p. 8, which in turn was a response to an article of the same title written by W. J. Coelho in the Kuokoa on 5/21/1920, p. 2.
Although we have come a far way from 1920, there is still far to go. There are still those who seem to believe that losing Hawaiian is nothing to be alarmed about.
Z. P. K. Kawaikaumaiikamakaokaopua, is another name for the great historian Z. P. K. Kalokuokamaile (as well as Z. P. K. Lionanohokuahiwi).]
(Kuokoa, 6/18/1920, p. 3)