Aloha: Hawai`i Welcomes Thousands of APEC Visitors with Signature Aloha Spirit

Source: apec.org

“The world will turn to Hawai`i as they search for world peace because Hawai`i has the key…and that key is Aloha!” ~ Auntie Pilahi Paki

Value of the Month – November

Aloha: To extend an unconditional hand of friendship to a stranger as an intimate gesture of welcome.

The Aloha Spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person.  It brings each person to the self.  Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.  In the contemplation and presence of the life force, “Aloha,” the following unuhi laula loa (free translation) may be used:

Akahai, meaning kindness, (grace) to be expressed with tenderness;

Lokahi, meaning unity, (unbroken) to be expressed with harmony;

`Olu`olu, meaning agreeable, (gentle) to be expressed with pleasantness;

Ha`aha`a, meaning humility, (empty) to be expressed with modesty;

Ahonui, meaning patience, (waiting for the moment) to be expressed with perseverance.

These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawai`i’s people.  It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawai`i.

Aloha is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation.

Aloha means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.

Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence.

Aloha means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable.

Hawai`i’s signature Aloha Spirit was on full display around the world as the 21 member economies of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) met in Honolulu for the APEC 2011 Summit.

Thousands of high-profile visitors – including key policy makers, economists, and heads of state – traveled from around the Pacific Rim, representing countries such as the U.S., Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, and Canada.  Together, APEC member economies make up 55 percent of global GDP, purchase 58 percent of U.S. goods exports, and comprise a market of 2.7 billion consumers.

With a geographic location of shared convenience between the U.S. mainland and Pacific Rim countries, a warm host culture, and top-notch facilities, Hawai`i is an ideal place for an international meeting of political, cultural, and business significance.

We’re excited to welcome guests from around the world to Hawai`i, whether they are conducting business in award-winning facilities and accommodations, taking in the breathtaking scenery, or enjoying one of the state’s many leisure activities.  Welcome to our Hawaiian Islands.  We hope you experience the spirit of Aloha while you are here.

ACCP CHEST Caps Off Strong Year of Hawai`i Medical Meetings; Physicians Assist Hawai`i Schools and Hospitals

ACCP CHEST volunteers worked with more than 100 fifth and sixth grade students from Honolulu's Sacred Hearts Academy on October 24 to promote lung health. Activities included singing "Love, Love, Love Your Lungs," as well as a no-smoking pledge and lung photo displays. Photo courtesy of Sacred Hearts Academy.

The American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP) 77th Annual CHEST meeting, held October 22-26 at the Hawai’i Convention Center, drew thousands of medical professionals from 78 countries to participate in a multi-faceted lineup of hands-on simulation sessions and ground-breaking research presentations.

Under ACCP’s philanthropic arm, The Chest Foundation, 45 volunteers and medical professionals worked with Honolulu’s Sacred Hearts Academy on October 24 to educate more than 100 fifth and sixth-grade students in a half dozen classes about tobacco prevention and lung health.  The Chest Foundation’s OneBreath initiative also donated $10,000 to support ongoing health programs and activities at the school.

In addition to these events, renowned specialists delivered “grand rounds” lectures at select Hawai’i hospitals to provide their expertise on specific patient cases.

CHEST, on of the world’s largest gatherings of chest physicians, included participation from medical professionals ranging from pulmonary, sleep, and critical care physicians to nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and respiratory therapists.  It was the Center’s fourth-largest meeting this year.

CHEST, one of the world's largest gatherings of chest physicians, included participation from medical professionals specializing in fields such as pulmonary, sleep, and critical care.

The meeting featured more than 300 general sessions.  More than 1,000 abstracts and case reports of scientific studies were submitted for presentation.  These included world-class research on the latest advances in areas ranging from treating and managing sleep disorders to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

New this year was the “Centers of Excellence,” a networking and collaboration forum featuring real-life patient care examples from Hawai’i as well as national medical providers, who demonstrated the outstanding features and special practices that make them unique among their peers.

See CHEST organizers discuss meeting highlights on Hawai’i News Now:

Other major medical conferences at the Center in 2011 have included the BMT Tandem Meetings from Feb. 17-21 with 2,400 attendees; the American Academy of Neurology’s 63rd Annual Meeting from April 9-16 with 10,000 attendees; and the American Psychiatric Association’s 164th Annual Meeting from May 14-18 with 10,000 attendees.

Community Comes Together to Beautify Public Areas in Preparation for APEC

Hawai`i Convention Center employees joined cleanup efforts in the neighboring areas.

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Nakayama, Hawai`i Convention Center.

Hawai`i Convention Center employees joined a group of state government officials, organizations, community members, schools, and businesses to remove graffiti and clean up public areas around Honolulu during the Community Wide Cleanup & Graffiti Paint-Out event on October 29, 2011.

More than 1,000 volunteers joined clean up efforts sponsored by Totally Against Graffiti (T.A.G.) and organized by the APEC Hawai`i Host Committee in preparation for November’s Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings.  Cleanup locations included the Kapahulu, McCully, and Moiliili neighborhoods.

Efforts were featured by Hawai`i News Now on October 29 :

Hawaiʻi Convention Center Unveils First Permanent Native Hawaiian Mural

Kumu (teachers) and Haumana (students) gather to celebrate the completion of the Hawai`i Kakou Community Mural project at the Hawai`i Convention Center.

On October 19, 2011 “Hawai‘i Loa Ku Like Kākou (Hawai‘i Kākou)” the Hawai‘i Convention Center’s first permanent native Hawaiian indigenous artwork was unveiled. The mural was created by the Hawai‘i Kākou Community Mural Project headed by Lead Artist Meleanna Meyer. She was joined by fellow kumu (teacher) artists Solomon Enos, Kahi Ching, Al Lagunero and Harinani Orme together with six alakai (leaders) and featured a team of 17 talented haumana (students), ages 12 to 19, that came from various public, private, charter and Hawaiian immersion schools.

Kumu Meleanna reveals that the idea for a community mural project started a few years back she and her fellow kumu and alakai mentored young artists in painting a mural for the Sheraton Waikīkī. They were also involved in creating various mural projects such as the “Kuakeahu” Mural at Camp Mokule’ia, the “Ho’ohuli” Mural at the Bishop Museum and the 250-ft long mural near Kalihi Waena Elementary along Kalihi Stream.

Located at the Level 1 Lobby of the Hawai‘i Convention Center, the 10’ x 64’ mural was made possible through funding from the Office of Hawaiian Affairs. Painting began on October 3rdand during a short opening ceremony guests were invited to put their fingerprints on to the mural to mark the starting point of this project. It symbolizes that each person is indigenous to a certain culture and that the imprints we leave behind are something we all have in common.

Joe Davis at the Hawaii Kakou mural

Hawai`i Convention Center/SMG General Manager Joe Davis puts his fingerprint onto the Hawai`i Kakou Mural during the opening ceremony held on October 3, 2011.

“New Old Wisdom”

Apart from mentoring young artists, the Hawai‘i Kākou Community Mural Project also serves as a venue to share the indigenous voice through art. As a visual response to the gathering of world economies in Hawai‘i, this mural serves as a reminder that lessons from Hawaii’s indigenous past are alive and relevant in helping to influence our future. It is a Hawaiian perspective on the economy rooted in indigenous values.

Kumu Harinani Orme works with haumana (students) as they help paint the Hawai`i Kakou Community Mural.

The theme of practicing “New Old Wisdoms” is a prominent message embedded into Hawai‘i Kākou. Symbols and icons representing various indigenous economies throughout Asia and the Pacific are included in the design. Among them, the ‘auamo (carrying stick) is symbolic of everyone’s shared responsibility of keeping the land and our resources in balance. Images of Po’e (people) working and being “pushed, pulled, woven and gathered by the land” reveals our direct relationship with the environment. Throughout the mural, the haumana added small dots and “fish” forms that move through the piece, representing “the currents, winds, veins, and arteries that weave elements together.”

working on the hawaii kakou mural at the hawaii convention center

Talented young artists put their mark on the Hawai`i Kakou Community Mural at the Hawai`i Convention Center.

Color choice is also indicative of the artwork’s message. Shades of amber, ocher, yellow and blue suggest “colors of hope and the urgency of fire.” Crimson is also visible and denotes the “internal bleeding” of people and the environment impacted by exploitation and imbalance.

Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Harinani Orme, and Solomon Enos put on the final touches of the Hawai`i Kakou Mural

Kumu artists (from left) Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Harinani Orme, and Solomon Enos put on the final touches of the Hawai`i Kakou Mural.

True Collaboration

Throughout the seven days that the Hawai‘i Kākou Community Mural team worked, many hands have touched the artwork and inspired the design.  Sketches and drawings can be seen surrounding their work area providing guidance and inspiration as the group worked throughout the day and well into the night.

This made the mural dedication held on October 19th even more special because they were unveiling not just a great piece of indigenous artwork but a product of true collaboration.  Friends and family of the haumana, alakai and the kumu were present to witness this occasion.

Maile Meyer (center) shares a few words of thanks during the mural dedication on October 19

Maile Meyer (center), one of the principal organizers of the mural project, shares a few words of thanks during the mural dedication on October 19. There were also the five kumu who helped mentor the young artists: (from left) Al Lagunero, Meleanna Meyer, Solomon Enos, Harinani Orme, and Kahi Ching.

Maile Meyer, sister of artist Meleanna and one of the principal organizers of the mural project expressed gratitude towards everyone supporting the effort. The kumu also took the time to recognize and thank each of the alakai and haumana who participated in the mural as well as everyone who worked behind the scenes to make this community mural project possible.

The mural’s unveiling occurs just in time for the APEC Leaders Summit in November and is another way to showcase Hawai’i’s culture to the world leaders and future visitors of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Beyond the art styles and skills involved in creating the mural, Hawai‘i Kākou is a strong medium that gives Hawaiian artists a chance to share the indigenous perspective of community economics – an economy that is based on sharing, relationships and aloha. Kumu Meleanna puts it more aptly, “Art is our visual currency. We trade in heartworks; we trade in spirit; we trade in aloha.”

Hawai`i Loa Ku Like Kakou

"Hawai`i Loa Ku Like Kakou" is located on the Lobby Level, outside Kamehameha Exhibit Hall 1, at the Hawai`i Convention Center.