Category Archives: people

HANAFUDA SAKURA

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The colorful flower cards are thicker than Western-style cards and players enjoy the “smacking” sound they make when slapped together.

In the 18th year of Tenmon (A.D. 1549) when Francisco Xavier landed in Japan from Europe the crew of his ship had carried a set of Hombre, 48-card Portuguese playing cards, which became extremely popular with the Japanese. Through a colorful history of being banned and declared illegal (which did not diminish cardplaying and gambling by the populace) the game of Hanafuda, which combined traditional Japanese games with Western-style playing cards, was developed in the late 1800s.

Entertaining and highly addictive the Hanafuda cards contain no numbers. Instead the 48 cards in the deck use pictures of flowers and plants. The deck is organized into 12 suites, one for each month of the year, and the types of plants represent the months in which they bloom. Hanafuda is commonly played in Hawaii and South Korea, though under different names. In Hawaii it is called Sakura, Hanafura, and Higobana.

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Just ask any local or longtime resident about this card game and you will likely invoke wonderful memories of fun that could go on for hours, and hours, and hours!

 

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HONORING OUR WARRIORS

 THE MONTH OF MAY HAS TWO HOLIDAYS THAT CELEBRATE THE SERVICE OF OUR FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN

Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, commemorates men and women who died while in military service. Originally to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War, the name Memorial Day wasn’t used for the annual May 30th holiday until 1882. In 1968, to create a convenient three-day weekend, the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill , moving the celebration to the last Monday of May. Hawaii’s Senator Daniel Inouye, a World War II veteran, has repeatedly introduced measures to return Memorial Day to its traditional date.

More than 2,335 veterans and survivors are buried in Maui Nui veteran’s cemeteries on Lanai, Maui, and Molokai.

 

 

 

Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service. The day was created to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches — the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard — following the consolidation of the military services in the Department of Defense. On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of  Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.

 

Hawaii is home to 118,000 civilian veterans (those who have served, but are not now on active duty).

 

 

More than 2,100 veterans returning to Hawaii from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan received post-conflict care in at five Vet Centers, including one in Wailuku, Maui.

 General Information – Hawaii

Number of veterans: 117,254

VA expenditures in Hawaii: $384 million  

Compensation and pensions: $217 million

Readjustment benefits: $20 million

Medical and construction programs: $160 million

Insurance and indemnities: $10 million

 Number of veterans receiving disability compensation or pension payments in Hawaii: 17,435

Number of Hawaii veterans using GI Bill education benefits: 2,521

Number of home loans in Hawaii backed by VA guarantees: 2,242

Value of Hawaii home loans guaranteed by VA: $964 million

Number of VA life policies held by Hawaii residents: 9,454

Value of VA life insurance insurance policies held by Hawaii residents: $132 million

Number of Hawaii participants in vocational rehabilitation: 586

SOWING SEEDS FOR SUSTAINABILITY

He who plants a garden plants happiness.  If you want to be happy for a lifetime, plant a garden.  ~ Chinese Proverb 

U.S. Dept. of Agriculture poster promoting victory gardens. ~ 1942

VICTORY GARDEN is not only PBS’s longest running gardening show on television.  During World Wars I & II, also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, these were vegetable, fruit and herb gardens planted at private residences to reduce the pressure on the public food supply brought on by the war effort.  These gardens were also considered a civil “morale booster” because gardeners felt empowered by their contribution of labor and rewarded by the produce grown.

In 1943, 20 million private and public gardens were producing 8 million tons of food.

Today food travels thousands of miles over many days from farm to table, and the cycle of planting, fertilizing, processing, packaging, and transporting our food uses enormous amounts of energy and contributes to global warming.

Hawaii has less than a seven day supply of many foods, especially perishables. Some 90% percent of our food is imported.

Drawing from the rich history of World War I & II Victory Gardens, there is a growing movement giving a new meaning to ‘victory’.   ♦ fresher, healthier food consumption    ♦ independence from corporate food systems    ♦ self-sufficiency, sustainability, and good stewardship    ♦ more people involved in the natural environment

PLANT AN ‘ALOHA AINA’ GARDEN

 43 million American households are expected to grow their own fruits, vegetables, herbs and berries this year.

That’s up 19 percent over last year, according to a survey conducted in January by the National Gardening Association.  About a fifth of gardeners this year will be new to the activity, the survey says. Most — 54 percent — said they will garden because it saves them money on food bills.  A slightly larger group said they garden because homegrown food tastes better.

In recent time the self-sustainability movement has brought back the good sense of home gardening, and today ‘recession’ gardens spotlight the value of gardening during tough economic times.  Thanks to Hawaii’s mild, year-round climate, it is a fertile place that sustains many types of crops.  New gardeners should start out slow, learn as you go, and seek advice from neighborhood growers who can be most helpful when it comes to learning about the local environment.

A family that spends about $100 on a garden will save $860 -$2,500 in grocery bills over the course of a year.

HOME GROWN mo’ bettah!

LOCALLY GROWN & RAISED FOODS

  • are fresher and taste better
  • are available year-round
  • have much less environmental impact
  • preserve green space & farmland
  • promote food safety
  • support our local economy
  • provide variety
  • create community

By eating foods that are grown and raised locally, with the same air and water that we breathe and drink, we connect to this unique environment and become part of the local ecosystem.

Think you can’t taste the difference between lettuce picked yesterday and lettuce picked last week, factory-washed, and sealed in plastic?  You can.  And fresh food lasts longer too.  The fewer steps there are between your food’s source and your table the less chance there is of health-threatening contamination.  And don’t forget that those thousands of miles our food imports are shipped creates a big carbon footprint.

BUY LOCAL!

If a home garden is not for you then buy local.  Almost 60% of MAUI COUNTY land is in agriculture with 1,096 farm and livestock operations producing cattle, hogs, eggs, honey, aquaculture, sugar, pineapple, vegetables and melons, fruits, coffee, macadamia nuts, and taro.  The highest vegetable crop production per pound is cucumbers, followed by cabbage, onions, taro, Italian squash and romaine lettuce.  Other diversified crops including flowers and nursery products are rapidly expanding and account for about 70% of farm revenue.

When buying locally produced foods we’re not only eating healthier, we’re benefiting our community, environment, and lifestyle.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION VISIT

http://www.mauimagazine.net/Maui-Magazine/Think-Local/

http://www.garden.org

BEACHFRONT LIVING: Two Faces

MAUI NUI is world-renowned for magnificent beachfront, currently boasting a Makena beach property listed at $22 million.  But there is another reality to living on the beach…

According to the HOMELESS SERVICE UTILIZATION REPORT, HAWAI`I 2010, the number of Maui County persons served by Shelter and Outreach Programs has reached 1,161 — tripling since 2005.   11% of this population is employed, and 9% consist of families with children.  (www.uhfamily.hawaii.edu)

These numbers do not account for the hidden homeless, who sleep on a relative’s sofa, or in their cars, or camp in areas not as visible as the public beaches.  The housing boom and bust sweeping across the U.S. is displacing families nationwide, but the problem in Hawaii — where land costs are more than five times the national average — is particularly acute. Rents in Hawaii are among the highest in the nation. Both the inventory of public and affordable housing, and the availability of emergency shelter is limited.

 “If we don’t do something to address the crisis in affordable housing we are not going to solve homelessness.”

Nan Roman, President-National Alliance to End Homelessness

YOU CAN HELP.  Start by visiting:

http://www.hud.gov/homeless/

http://www.endhomelessness.org/

 

 

Honoring Our Warriors

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.”   ~Jose Narosky

One out of every 10 Americans is a living Veteran.

  

  

9,136 in Maui Nui   

  

  

  

  

106,310 in the State of Hawaii  

 

  

21,854,374 in the United States of America 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malama na koa!

MAKAHIKI: Hawaiian Thanksgiving

“Here is your nourishment, o gods of Wakea’s descendants.  Increase the growth of the land.  It is freed, it is freed, it is freed.”

~ Translated from the Makahiki chant “Kihapai o Lono” Written by Nalani Kanaka’ole

Na Huihui o Makali’i is a cluster of stars also known as the Pleaides, or the Seven Sisters.  It is revered in Hawaiian tradition as the place from where the first Hawaiian people came to Earth.

 In the season of Ho’oilo, at the month of Welehu (October/November), the appearance of the Makali’i cluster heralded Makahiki, a 4-month long harvest festival considered the most important time of the year.  It was  dedicated to honor and give thanks to the fertility and music god Lono who was identified with agriculture, planting of food crops, and rain.  He was one of the four gods (with , Kāne, and his twin brother Kanaloa) who existed before the world was created. 

 Makahiki celebrated the harvest and was a time of personal rest for spiritual and cultural renewal.  It was a time when all wars and battles were ceased, tributes and taxes were paid by each district to the ruling chief, sporting competitions and contests between villages were organized, and festive events were commenced.  Several of the rigid kapu (laws) were eased or temporarily set aside allowing  more freedom of activity and easy celebration.

Today many of the old Hawaiian games have been revived and are played at modern makahiki festivals and other cultural events.  Each year school children play ‘ulumaika (lawn bowling) and an array of other Hawaiian games such as heihei wa’a (canoe racing), uma (wrestling), pahe’e (javelin), konane (checkers), kimo (similar to jacks), o’o ihe (spear throwing), hukihuki (tug of war), and hu (spinning tops).

Makahiki games are played not only to develop skills and quick thinking, but to instill pride in  Hawaiian culture and keep it alive.

PIDGIN: Help or Hindrance?

 “Every time we close the door on pidgin, we close the door on culture.”               ~Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Hawaii Author

Pidgin, or Hawaii Creole English as experts call it, began as a form of communication used between non-English speaking immigrants who came to work on the plantations, and the Hawaiian and English speaking residents.  Pidgin has been influenced by the many languages of settlers in Hawai’i which included Portuguese, Cantonese (Chinese), Japanese, Filipino and Korean, as well as Spanish, Mexican and Puerto Rican.

Pidgin started to be used outside the plantation between ethnic groups in the community, and school children learned pidgin from their classmates. Eventually it replaced their original languages and became the primary verbal communication of most of the people in Hawai’i.

Hawaiian Creole English borrows vocabulary and syntax from Hawaiian.  Most place names are retained from Hawaiian, as are some names for plants or animals.  For example, tuna fish are often called ahi.   Some expressions, such as brah and da kine, have found their way to other places.  Syntax often follows that of Hawaiian.  Certain words can be dropped if their meaning is implicit.  For example, instead of saying “It is hot today, isn’t it?,” a pidgin speaker is likely to say simply “stay hot, ah?” Grammatically, pidgin follows an English translation of the Hawaiian language.

In the classroom however there was intolerance of pidgin by Hawai’i’s teachers and administrators as it was considered to be a hindrance to learning standard English.

But in the 1970s, linguists studying the varieties of Creole English throughout the world came to consider these dialects to be languages in their own right and advocated their use in the classroom as a means of reaching pidgin-speaking students who could not understand the teachers.

Many Hawai’i children grew up speaking standard English in the classroom and at home, then switching to pidgin, or Hawaii Creole English,  in the playground and neighborhood. Those who can switch between two languages have an added skill and are known as ‘code switchers.’

“They have a clear advantage in that they can negotiate in different situations,” says Walter Wolfram, a North Carolina State University linguist.  In a 2004 study published in the journal Psychology and Aging, researchers determined that bilingual speakers are better able to deal with distractions, and that may help offset age-related declines in mental performance.