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City and County of Honolulu to host free Hawaiian language classes

HONOLULU -- Although Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi has passed, the Mayor's Office of Culture and the Arts would like to continue the mission of helping to preserve and perpetuate the Hawaiian language, most especially that Hawaiian is one of the state's official languages. In partnership with E Hoʻopili Mai -- a free digital language-learning resource developed by Hawaiian language Kumu, Kahanuola Solatorio, the City will be hosting four free, virtual, Hawaiian language classes open to the first 150 people to sign up.

This community-type learning will be open to all ages -- from ‘ōpio to kūpuna. Families are also encouraged to sign up. This will be an opportunity to brush up on your Hawaiian language skills, or learn something new to incorporate into your everyday life.

Solatorio's notes that his teaching philosophy and the mole (root) grounding "E Hoʻopili Mai" is simple, yet profound: "Aʻa i ka ʻōlelo" (Dare to speak). Solatorio indicated, "Sometimes people can get turned off by ʻōlelo because they get judged or shamed," he said. "I want all people to be comfortable speaking the language they should speak in Hawaiʻi, whether they are Hawaiian or not. No shame, just go! We will correct but lovingly and with good intentions, so that you learn."

There was a time when Hawaiian language and parts of the culture were banned; however, in the late 1960's and early 1970's, a revival in cultural pride and identity led to a significant increase in the interest in and the practice of the Hawaiian culture.

Since the establishment of a Hawaiian Studies Program in 1980 and the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program in 1986, there has been major effort to incorporate more elements of Hawaiian knowledge -- its culture, history and language - into mainstream curriculum within the Hawaiian islands.

"I feel that everyone who lives here in Hawai'i - Hawaiian or not - has a kuleana to learn the language of this land. Many people want to learn Hawaiian, but do not have the means to take language classes at the University and college levels. I tried my best to make these classes accessible to the wider public, so that people can learn from the comfort of their own homes through a virtual platform that is easy to use," stated Solatorio.

The following one-hour classes are being offered:

  • ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi Basics -- Monday, March 14 -- 6 p.m.
  • Hoʻolauna (Introduction) -- Monday, Monday, March 28 -- 6 p.m.
  • ʻOhana/Moʻokūʻauhau (Genealogy) -- Monday, April 11 -- 6 p.m.
  • Nā Helu (Numbers) -- Monday, April 25 -- 6 p.m.
  • Zoom Link for classes: Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 811 1886 2435

Passcode: 993546

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Meeting ID: 811 1886 2435

Passcode: 993546

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