FREE SHIPPING ON US ORDERS VIA US POSTAL

October 20, 2019

Pono, like many Hawaiian words, does not have a one-to-one-word English translation. If there were one, it would probably be "righteousness," as in the state motto: "Ua Mau ke Ea o ka Aina i ka Pono," or "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."

What's missing with the word "righteousness," however, is the balance and harmony pono connotes for Hawaiians. To be pono means to be in a state of harmony or balance with oneself, others, the land, work and life itself.

Samuel Hoyt Elbert's Hawaiian dictionary gives six different meanings for pono. While we most often think of pono as an adjective, some meanings here are nouns or adverbs:

  1. Goodness, uprightness, morality, moral qualities, correct or proper procedure, excellence, well-being, prosperity, welfare, benefit, behalf, equity, sake, true condition or nature, duty; moral, fitting, proper, righteous, right, upright, just, virtuous, fair, beneficial, successful, in perfect order, accurate, correct, eased, relieved; should, ought, must, necessary.
  2. Completely, properly, rightly, well, exactly, carefully, satisfactorily, much (an intensifier).
  3. Property, resources, assets, fortune, belongings, equipment, household goods, furniture, gear of any kind, possessions, accessories, necessities.
  4. Use, purpose, plan.
  5. Hope.
  6. Careless, informal, improper, any kind of (preceding a stem). For example: Ponoʻai, to eat in any way or anything, take potluck. Ponohana, to work any way that suits one. Pononō i ka noho, living any old way, shiftless. Pono lole, any kind of clothes. Mai pono hana ʻoe, akā e hana pono, don't work carelessly, but work carefully.

Pono, like mahalo, or a thankful way of living, and kuleana, or a sense of personal responsibility, is one of the values of the aloha spirit that's so deeply ingrained in Hawaiian culture. It differs slightly from the other values in that, for most, it is slightly out of reach. It is something to authentically aspire to rather than to fully attain, mostly because pono means more than doing the right thing in a given situation, but rather living life with balance, harmony and integrity, seeking to improve the surrounding world.

The concept of pono is taught to Hawaiian children at a very young age. It is a guiding principle that is to shape their every decision. "Is it pono?' they are to ask. In other words, will what you're about to do help bring harmony and good into the world?

The concept may feel a bit lofty until one considers an example. Littering is easy to do because it requires effort to put something into the garbage, especially if there isn't one nearby. The pono choice, however, would be to avoid littering, as it affects the earth, creating imbalance and introducing a foreign substance into the natural world. Picking up someone else's garbage is also a pono action, as it helps restore order and balance, even though it's a small action.

Pono is a large, diverse idea that encompasses a range of balanced, proper and good actions. It is also an idealistic one, in that everyone does something that's not pono once in a while. But the Hawaiian way is to keep reaching for pono in life by making righteous decisions each day.





Also in Aloha Fashion & Lifestyle News

Jay Hernandez Wore this Black Magnum PI Shirt in Season 3 Episode 8
Jay Hernandez Wore this Black Magnum PI Shirt in Season 3 Episode 8

February 14, 2021

On Season 3, Episode 8 of the new Magnum PI, Jay Hernandez wore the same black Jungle Bird shirt that Tom Selleck wore in the original Magnum PI. He wore it early in the episode while Higgins and her boyfriend Ethan flirt like teenagers in front of everyone. 
the original and famous Magnum PI Hawaiian shirt
Top 10 Men's Shirts of 2020

December 28, 2020

Towards the end of each year we like to look back and see which shirts were most popular. During different times of the year, certain shirts are more popular than others and this jockeying for position takes place through the year. With that in mind, here are the ten most popular men's Hawaiian shirts for 2020. 
Star Orchid (aka Magnum Orchid) spaghetti dress by Paradise Found
Top Ten Women's Tops & Dresses of 2020

December 28, 2020

With such a variety of prints, styles, and cuts for women's aloha wear, it is difficult to predict which tops and dresses will make it in the top ten for the year. Tops are always popular. Long dresses are more popular in cooler months while short dresses are more popular in warmer months. Here are the top ten most popular women's tops and dresses as we head into the final weeks of 2020.