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What is Aloha?

Copyright 2006© by Ramsay Taum*

Aloha is an overarching principle. Like most Hawaiian words, it has many meanings. It can be a noun, verb, adjective and adverb. It is prescriptive, descriptive and subscriptive.

Aloha is more than a greeting or salutation. It is a condition, a way of life, a mindset and an attitude.

Aloha is an action, not a reaction. It is a natural response of respect, love and reciprocity, and not a contrived series of motions or expressions that have been rehearsed and perfected for a commercial expectation.

Aloha is to be in the presence of life, to share the essence of one’s being with openness, honesty and humility. It is a way of being, a way of behaving, a way of life. It is a commitment to being real. It is a commitment to accepting others and giving dignity to who they are and what they have to offer.

Aloha is not a slogan, pitch line or monogram. It is a spiritual principle that conveys the deepest expression of one’s relationship with oneself, the creative and life-giving forces, one’s family and community, and with one’s friends and strangers.

~”100% Part-Hawaiian”



*This is an excerpt from “What Are My Three Favorite Hawaiian Words” which appeared in the 2006 May-June Issues of Hawaii Magazine.  To access the entire article and receive more information about programs, classes, presentations and articles by Kumu Ramsay contact him at