Friday, November 26, 2010

Hawaii is in Mourning

Hawaiian radio legend Krash Kealoha dies

 The Hawaiian music world is in mourning this Thanksgiving.

The father of modern Hawaiian radio Krash Kealoha passed away Thursday morning in his Waimanalo home.

Kealoha was suffering from a tumor and decided to forgo radiation treatment. According to Kealoha's wife, Chris, he was in poor condition.

Kealoha was the program director for KCCN FM 100, produced both radio and television shows, managed local musical groups and started the Na Hoku Hanohano awards.

Hawaiian music was always on Kealoha's mind. Friends in the Hawaiian music community say he was an integral part of pushing the music forward.

"He became the leader and program director of a unique group of people that would continue 30, 40 years to shape Hawaiian music. He took care of that and gave it forward to a younger generation of not only radio people, but entertainers," Hawaiian 105 KINE radio personality and entertainer Billy V said. "

Kealoha was also known for his spirit of aloha.

"Krash had a way of expressing himself like very few people. He knew that aloha was first. He had the sense of aloha when he spoke, whether to you, or me, or visitors who were coming here," Billy V said. "He had that sense of aloha in everything he did and he wasn't ready to leave yet. There was more that he wanted to do."

Kealoha also appeared in several TV shows including Magnum, P.I., Hawaii Five-O and The Jeffersons.
Kealoha's real name was Victor Opiopio.
RIP.....braddah Krash

The Aloha Tradition

The Aloha Tradition

While a few ancient Hawaiian customs have faded from memory, the tradition of lei-giving has managed to subsist and flourish. In the beautiful islands of Hawaii, everyone wears leis. A lei is a common symbol of love, friendship, celebration, honor, or greeting. In other words, it is a symbol of Aloha. Take a walk around Hawaii; you’ll find leis everywhere—graduations, parties, dances, weddings, and yes, even at the office. In Hawaii, any occasion can be considered special and “lei-worthy.” No one can resist the vibrant colors, the intoxicating fragrances, or the beautiful tradition of Hawaii’s most recognized icon…the flower lei.

The History of the Lei

The custom of the flower lei was introduced to Hawaii from the various surrounding Polynesian islands and even Asia. In ancient Hawaii, wearing a lei represented wealth, royalty, and rank. Leis were also heavily associated with hula, religion and geography.

Most Hawaiians preferred the Maile lei--a leafy vine that has fragrant spicy-sweet leaves that is draped and worn open-ended to the waist. However, royalty and Hawaiian chieftains favored the fiery, vibrant Ilima—a thin orange blossom that requires hundreds of flowers to make a single lei strand. Hawaiian Princess Kaiulani’s favorite lei was the Pikake—named after the peacocks in her garden—for the heavenly white blossoms and sweet jasmine fragrance.

The state of Hawaii is consists of eight major islands. Each island has its own designated lei which represents a harmonious marriage of texture and color. Most of these leis are unavailable for shipping to the mainland due to strict agricultural laws.

Hawaii – Lehua

Oahu – Ilima

Maui – Lokelani

Kauai – Mokihana

Molokai – Kukui

Lanai – Kaunaoa

Niihau – Pupu

Kaho’olawe – Hinahina

Before the familiar hum of airline jets were heard in the sky, tourist and travelers arrived in Hawaii by boat. Many old Hawaiians retell their stories of “boat days” with fond memories. When the boat would arrive at the dock, it was a social celebration with lei greeters, hula dancers, music, and photographers. A common custom for departing travelers was to toss their leis into the ocean by Diamond Head Crater. A safe return to Hawaii was ensured if their lei drifted to shore.

Since May 1, 1928, Hawaii has celebrated every May first as it’s official “Lei Day.” Hawaiians call it “May Day.” The flower lei is celebrated passionately on May Day with Hula, parades, and music. On May Day, most parents request to take a day off of work so they can watch their children participate in May Day festivities and programs at school. Everyone in Hawaii is encouraged to wear a lei on May Day.

Lei Etiquette

Leis can be worn, received, or given for almost any occasion. In Hawaii, a lei is given for an office promotion, a birthday, an anniversary, a graduation, or any special event. Yet more notably, a lei can be worn for no other reason than to enjoy the fragrance, take pleasure in the beautiful flowers, or simply, to celebrate the “Aloha Spirit.”

There is one big faux pas that should never be made. Never refuse a lei! Always graciously accept the lei with a toothy smile and a kiss on the cheek. (If you don’t feel comfortable with giving or receiving a kiss on the cheek, a warm hug is acceptable!) If you are allergic or sensitive to flowers, then discreetly and apologetically slip-off the lei. It is acceptable and considered a kind gesture to offer the lei to your spouse if you are unable to wear it.

Last, but not least, there is one more taboo…it is considered (in Hawaii) impolite to give a closed (tied) lei to a pregnant woman. Many Hawaiians feel that a closed lei around the neck is bad luck for the unborn child. (Head Hakus and open-ended leis are acceptable to give to pregnant woman.)