Lili

nvs. Jealous; highly sensitive to criticism; jealousy, envy; anger and mental anguish felt if one’s loved ones are criticized. Lili punalua, see punalua. hoʻo.lili To provoke jealousy; jealous. (PPN lili.)

No one particular reason for choosing this word, other than it is part of one of my favorite ʻōlelo noʻeau (wise saying):

Na ka pupuka ka lili – Jealousy belongs to the ugly.

And isn’t it true? Jealousy is such an ugly trait that we should all strive to examine our true feelings and thoughts when we feel jealous, whether it is insecurity with a loved one or a colleague or friend. Hawaiians were (and still are) such accepting people. Anyone who has studied our history from the arrival of Captain Cook through today can agree. All races. All beliefs. That’s one of the main reasons people flock here. THey come to visit and then stay. And then, go figure, many try to change the way things are. But I digress.

Aloha kekahi i kekahi. Love one another. No need to be lili.

Hawaiians had so much love for one another they even practiced polygamy (many spouses). A husband or a wife may have more than one spouse, sometimes even sisters sharing the same husband. Sometimes it was a relationship based out of convenience and necessity and sometimes it was based on romantic love. There is even a term for the relationship between two people who share the same spouse.  It is punalua. And if there was jealousy from one punalua to another, it was known as lili punalua – bitter jealousy of a rival and this was frowned upon. Many stories tell of a spouse who was lili of their punalua, causing misfortune, and, utlimately, the true misfortune fell upon the jealous one.

Ua lili ʻo ia i kāna keiki – He was jealous of her child.

Mai lili i ka hana a haʻi – Dont be jealous of the tasks of someone else.

Copyright: 2015 – Liana Iaea Honda. All rights reserved. All versions of He Momi e Lei ai”, in its entirety, past and present, is the property of L. K. I. Honda. Reproduction and use of any kind other than the sharing of this website is prohibited. Alteration to the original content in any form is prohibited in every and any instance, and use in any other variant is prohibited without written consent of the author. Adress inquiries to: hemomi [at] gmail.com. Definitions and wise sayings are from: Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui and Elbert, 1986. ʻŌlelo Noʻeau – Hawaiian Proverbs & Poetical Sayings by Mary Kawena Pukui, 1983

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