A phrase that my family says often is, "Mahalo e Ke Akua" When translated from Hawaiian to English, this phrase means to give thanks to God. Most people in my family do not speak fluent Hawaiian, but it's important for us to know our roots, and for us to always be connected to our culture. This phrase was also introduced to my family by Church, and from older people in my family that already passed away. Mahalo Ke Akua is something we say almost everyday and it is said during different occasions, or when we pass a certain place. My grandma said that in my family, it's important to say this because, "It's an expression of gratitude. We say this because we're grateful for many different things.”
Another time we say this phrase is when we are in the car and driving on the H-3. There was a lot of history and events that happened in old Hawai'i that also took place by that highway. My grandma always says, "Mahalo Ke Akua" to honor the native Hawaiians that have passed away near the highway and she eventually taught me to say it from a younger age. To this day, itʻs important for me to say this phrase while passing the highway because I feel the need to be respectful. From a young age, it has been a vital thing for me to always respect ancestors and people that are older than me. Saying, “Mahalo Ke Akua” is also important for me to say because it shows gratitude and thanks. I think that everything that happens is in Godʻs hands and if he didn't want the highway to be built, he probably wouldn't have let it. Overall, this phrase shows great importance to me because it reminds me to show gratitude and be thankful for everything I have.
Not everyone in my family says, "Mahalo Ke Akua' Sometimes my grandma and I forget to say it, but each time we do say the phrase, it is from the heart. As a kid, I never thought it was important to say, "Mahalo Ke Akua" everyday. But as I got older, I started to understand that there are blessings all around us. Being grateful for everything I already have and being grateful for everything that I receive plays a big part of who I am today. I learned that something as small as waking up every morning is something that I should be thankful for.