More May Leis – for different reasons

As this Memorial Day holiday comes to a close I’m emailing some of Zach’s graduation pictures to ‘ohana (our family) on other islands. Since we’ve talked about leis so much this month, I thought I’d share a couple of shots with you, so you could see why in Hawaii graduation would be unimaginable without them — at Zach’s school, they’re even more important than cap and gown!

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This was Baccalaureate the night prior, and Zach’s wearing a lei made from the puakenikeni which grow in our yard. (This is probably only the 3rd or 4th time in his life Zach has had to wear suit and tie.)

Graduation includes traditional Hawaiian song and dance done by the graduates as their mahalo for all who have taught and supported them. This is the hula by the men: the green vine leis the guys are wearing are called maile: tying the two ends together symbolizes you are complete and whole in spirit. Zach has a second floral lei that was given to all the graduates inducted into Cum Laude Society.

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And this shot is after commencement exercises as family and friends greet the graduates on the great lawn outside: Leis are made from flowers, feathers, fabric, candy, and cash!  Soon you can only see their eyes.

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The nice thing is that since most graduations here are right before the Memorial Day weekend all the leis are recycled. After the pictures, we put them in bags and refrigerate them, and this morning they were taken for the holiday’s remembrance ceremonies. Trees are bare today: Leis decorate every gravesite in the islands.

Hope you had a good holiday: I hope to see you tomorrow for the Talking Story May Recap.