Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mele Kalīkimaka!

That’s “Merry Christmas” transliterated into Hawaiian, whose alphabet lacks the letters R (which is generally rendered as L) and S (usually given the letter K).

our tropical Nativity scene and baby Norfolk Pine tree

In addition to being a transliteration from the English “merry,” it’s fun to know that the word “mele” also has a real meaning in Hawaiian, which is “song” or “chant.” So I like to think of the traditional seasonal greeting here as having the additional sense of something like “Melodious Christmas!”

Celebrating the holidays in a different culture—and yes, the culture here is quite different from on the Mainland—is always a treat for me, especially when I get to experience different types of food. I’ve been getting a real kick out of the specials the local markets have been running during the past week, so I thought I’d share a few with you.