Aloha, dear readers!
I've been busying myself with my Linguistics thesis, which is on the revitalization of the Hawaiian language. In November I got to go to Hawai‘i to do some research (on Harvard’s dime, not bad, eh?). I am pretty much done with my leadership positions in extracurriculars, so I have a bit more time on my hands. Now that I don’t have to go to meeting after meeting, I’m not quite sure what to do with myself! Well, I know I should be working on my thesis, but instead, I’ve resorted to reading every blog and newspaper I can get my hands on to avoid doing real work. Having a thesis to write is like permanently having a paper due the next day, because I know that I never truly have free time—I could always be working on my thesis!
Fortunately, my enthusiasm for my thesis topic was renewed when I went to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawai‘i to conduct interviews and visit schools. I was getting kinda tired of my topic because over here in New England the Hawaiian language has about zero significance. But going back there and seeing the passion that people have for redeveloping the lifestyle of the past was so inspiring! The old Hawaiian culture is quite traditional, which is refreshing considering the current unfortunate problems Native Hawaiians have with meth, alcoholism, and teenage pregnancy. The thing that I appreciate most about Hawaiian-language revival is the emphasis placed on family learning. The people who started the movement hoped to bring the language back into the domain of the home, and so parents have been taking classes at night while their children attend immersion schools. They are very involved in their children’s schooling. I was so impressed that I wrote an article about the responsibility of the family in this movement.
And actually, my mother was so inspired by the immersion schools’ focus on family involvement that she and my father have decided to take all the money they would normally spend on Christmas presents for our family and donate it to the revitalization movement. Although that means less presents under the Christmas tree (or perhaps I should say palm tree, as we will be spending Christmas in Hawai‘i!) for me, I am very proud of my mother for throwing materialism out the window and giving money to a good cause.
What are some other good causes you all think could use donations this holiday season?