Do you know how many Irish there are living in Hawaii?
I don’t really know, and I couldn’t find an answer to it. I do believe there are many here of Irish descent. However living here all my life I can tell you that St. Patrick’s Day has traditionally gone by relatively unnoticed and uncelebrated here in the islands. Ask most people here what they think of today and they’ll say “green beer” and that’s about the extent of it. Come to think of it, that does lend itself to many spontaneous celebrations today…
However given my own mana‘o as connected with Managing with Aloha, and thanks to attending eight fairly formative years of Catholic School, what I recall about St. Patrick is this: he was very skilled at matching his evangelism (substitute: Rosa’s coaching) with the specific values of the Irish culture (substitute: Managing with Aloha.) So personally, I’m a fan!
This comes from The History Channel’s archives:
Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs.
For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish.
The way I see it, St. Patrick had a lot of aloha.
As an aside, there is another similarity between the folklore of the Irish and the Hawaiians: our storied little people. For the Irish it’s the leprechaun, and for the Hawaiians it’s the menehune, who are often described by malihini (visitors) as “the Hawaiian leprechaun.”
So for today, a story for you about our Hawaiian Menehune: click this next link to read The Three Menehune of Ainahou. Like St. Patrick and the Three Menehune, there are many in our world who wish to make things better for you.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!