Nīele

nvs. To keep asking questions; inquisitive, curious, plying with frivolous questions (often used in pejorative sense, as of a busybody asking things that do not concern him); to quiz, pump; question.

Yesterday’s word, maha‘oi, is often confused with today’s word, nīele. While mahaʻoi is more about just being rude, sticking your face in someone else’s business, nīele is just that irritating asking too many questions when you just basically need to BE QUIET AND WATCH AND LISTEN AND DO.

Hawaiians have these phrases to say about how to actually learn something:

Nānā ka maka, hoʻolohe ka pepeiao, paʻa ka waha, hana ka lima – Look with your eyes, listen with your ears, keep your mouth shut, do it with your hands.

And that is how you learn best. Never mind your question. Hoʻomanawanui – be patient. And in due time, when the time is right, your questions will be answered without even being asked.

Okay, don’t get me wrong…being curious is great. But must you ask all those questions at the same time? This makes me think about Papa Mau. Mau Piailug. I never had the good fortune of learning from him. I am just grateful to have seen him in the flesh. And listen to him speak. But I do know that he didnt become a master navigator in Satawal by asking a million questions. Yet there are millions that needed to be answered in order to navigate the Pacific Oean.

If someone calls you nīele that means that, basically, they are a bit annoyed by all your questions. Like over it! HUSH!

Nīele kēlā keiki ma ʻō – That child over there is so inquisitive.

Mai nīele – Don’t be so inquisitive (and trust me, I don’t mean it in a negative sense).

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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