Ohana

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Ohana is an idea in Hawaiian culture. The word ʻohana means family in the Hawaiian language, but in a much wider sense, to include not only one's closer relatives, but also one's cousins, in-laws, friends, race, and other neighbours. The idea is also that family and friends are bound together and everyone must work together and not forget each other.

Origin[change | change source]

The word is related to the word whānau meaning the same, used by the Maori of New Zealand. It comes from the Hawaiian word ʻohā meaning the root of the taro plant, the most important plant in Hawaiian culture.

Popular culture[change | change source]

ʻOhana is also one of the main ideas of the Disney animated film Lilo & Stitch. ("ʻOhana means family, and family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.") The director of the film, Dean DeBlois, says the film's makers learned about this from their tour guide when they went to Hawaii to get ideas for the movie. He said that everywhere they went, the guide seemed to know people, and that he explained about ʻohana to them. They liked the idea so much that it became one of the main ideas for the story, the one thing that changes the character of Stitch, even though he was created to destroy.

 "Ohana API" [[1]] is a US website with the goal of extending the concept of "Ohana" to the larger context of the US as a whole. This is relevant and important because Hawaii and the Hawaiian culture is an integral part of the cultural diversity and interconnection that exists and is a very unique and cherished part and benefit of the great and expanding intermingled cultures that embody the United States of America. 

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