Pule a ka Haku – The Lord’s Prayer in Hawaiian
In the Hawaiian culture, there is a great respect for the kūpuna, the older ones, the grandparents, because they pass down the knowledge in different areas of life from previous generations to the younger ones. One of the things in Hawaiian culture that is really important is the teaching of the ancient songs and chants, which were always passed down from generation to generation.
Recently our church had quite a few visitors for a wedding of two of our members. One of the visitors, Samara, a haole girl, had learned the Lord’s Prayer in Hawaiian from a Hawaiian kūpuna named Jane, who attends our sister church in Shiloh, Iowa. Jane moved to the mainland many years ago, but just recently— because of Samara’s persistent requests—taught the song.
Samara sang it in our service, and there was such an anointing and a sense of God’s presence in it. One of our friends said that when he heard her singing it reminded him of how his grandmother used to sing it, and it brought tears to his eyes. So I thought we should record it to preserve and share.
As I wrote in a recent blog on Respecting Cultures, it is part of our beliefs to respect and learn from our kūpuna the knowledge and experience from their lifetime. It is also important to restore, preserve and pass down whatever knowledge we can so nothing gets lost. In culture and tradition there are gifts from God that must be preserved.
I would like to thank Jane Victorine and Samara Wright for letting me share this with all of you. Mahalo!