Nhsc-v1-197

From GrassrootWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Previous Page Next Page

nhsc-v1-197

Text Only

However, these organizations face extinction unless they begin to accommodate younger English-speaking Hawaiians.

The Hawaiian press also continued, in spite of the policy to replace it with English. In the initial years of the territory the press moved into new areas such as the printing of traditional stories and modern, locally-produced nonfiction about the history of folk heroes who defended Hawaiian sovereignty. Hawaiian-language publications gradually decreased with the passing of readers who could understand the language. The last secular paper went out of business after World War II; and the last Hawaiian-language church periodical in the 1970's. There are still occasional Hawaiian columns in publications read primarily by Hawaiians.

Hawaiian language groups occasionally publish newsletters and other material in Hawaiian. There is a weekly, one-hour radio talk show in the language (since 1973), and another weekly bilingual program featuring Hawaiian music. The most important response, and the one that is responsible for the existence of many of the native speakers of Hawaiian living today, was the refusal of many parents and grandparents to speak English to their children in spite of discouragement by teachers. In many cases families refused to allow children to speak any English to them at all, because they believed that Hawaiians should speak to one another in their own language. This attitude was especially strong when individuals raised during the monarchy were dominant in the territory, and it has not died out entirely. There still exist some very few individuals on the major islands who raise their children to speak Hawaiian at home, as well as the residents of Ni'ihau, who speak only Hawaiian.

In response to the move to replace the Hawaiian language with English, organized grassroots efforts specifically directed towards strengthening the Hawaiian language and culture appeared under the American administration. A Hawaiian Language League based on the Gaelic League was organized in the 1930's, and a Hawaiian language school was also organized. In the 1950's, Lalani Hawaiian Village was created for the purpose of teaching Hawaiian language and culture. Ulu Mau Village was created in the 1960's with a similar goal. Both attempts met with an early demise. The 1970's saw the creation of the 'Ahahui 'Olelo Hawai'i, an organization established through assistance from the Kamehameha Schools to promote the Hawaiian language. This group is still actively pursuing its goal.

Hawaiian language then, continues the fight to survive. There is considerable resiliency among those involved with the language. The effort to continue and strengthen the language has a solid core of support in the general population, among the Hawaiians as well as non-Hawaiians. 26/

Hawaiian would certainly have remained the first language of the majority of the native Hawaiian population and a likely number of locally-born non-Hawaiians if it were not for the rigorously pursued policy of the territorial administration to replace Hawaiian with English. The efforts of early local legislators to ensure the language's survival through legislative support would certainly have been more successful with a fair-minded administration. A reversal of the trend towards English medium schools might have even occurred around 1920 once the formation of the Hawaiian Language League showed that Hawaiians were

-p197-

Previous Page Next Page