Hoʻonui ʻike

Enrichment; to enrich, i.e., to increase knowledge.

I love the fact that we are never to old to learn (and the adage that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks means nothing to me). I relish opportunities to hoʻonui ʻike – increase [my] knowledge.  This word can be found in the dictionary, Māmaka Kaiao, a dictionary with “new” Hawaiian words (but really not so new anymore).  Though this word may not be found in the older Elbert/Pukui dictionary (and I know many of you have this treasured book in your collection), it is not a new word per se.  Hoʻonui literally means to increase (hoʻo- to cause; nui – big).  ʻIke is the Hawaiian word for knowledge (although it goes much deeper than that…to know, to see, to understand).  Hoʻonui ʻike – to increase knowledge.

Hawaiians know the value of knowledge and its application (what good is knowledge if you don’t put it to use for the betterment of life and the earth?) It is apparent in these ʻōlelo noʻeau:

ʻAʻole pau ka ʻike i ka hālau hoʻokahi – Not all knowledge is taught in one school.

Ua lehulehu a manomano ka ʻikena a ka Hawaiʻi – Great and numerous is the knowledge of the Hawaiians.

I ʻolaʻolā nō ka huewai I ka piha ʻole – The water gourd gurgles when not filled full (A person not very well informed talks more than one who is).

E lawe i ke aʻo a  mālama, a e ʻoi mau ka naʻauao – He who takes his teachings and applies them increases his knowledge).

So fortunate to hoʻonui ʻike this past weekend at the ʻAimalama Conference. Learning how other Pacific Island groups use the lunar calendar (not our typical Gregorian calendar) to guide their daily/seasonal actions was enlightening and refreshing. Hearing how schools are helping students tap into their abilities to observe, learn, analyze and determine next steps made me hopeful for our future. Seeing how climate changes are affecting our ocean bounty and precious island resources is concerning. But knowledge is power. And armed with information can help us make better decisions.

Take the time to expand your horizons, learn more, keep an open mind and an open heart.  Be a model for your children and grandchildren, colleagues and friends. Hoʻonui ʻike.  Expand your knowledge.

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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One Response to Hoʻonui ʻike

  1. Kathy Au says:

    Hi, Liana. Alice let me know about your posts – so I signed up and am greatly enjoying this daily infusion of wisdom! Your voice comes through beautifully in your writing – I can hear you speaking to me. Thank you so much for the time, thought, and care put into these messages and your generous sharing of so much knowledge. Kathy A.

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