Nurturing Health and Tradition


Photo: Kanoa Ng

By Kanoa Ng

In the spirit of I Ola Lōkahi, we come together to nurture the health of our people and our land. Health encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing, fostering our unity and prosperity.

Honoring Tradition: We honor the wisdom of our ancestors by prioritizing natural, locally sourced foods like kalo and fresh fish. These choices not only sustain our health, but also our environment and economy.

Movement for Harmony: Physical activity is essential to our wellbeing, whether it’s through cultural practices like hula and lomilomi, or simply enjoying a walk in nature. Finding joy in movement strengthens our bodies and community bonds.

Mental Wellness: Our mental health is closely connected with our physical wellbeing. Cultivating resilience through practices such as meditation and by seeking support when needed helps maintain balance.

Family and Community Care: Health is a collective effort. Prioritizing regular check-ups and fostering open communication about health challenges creates a supportive network for all.

Adjusting for the Future: Incorporating modern practices such as immunizations and maintaining our dedication to traditional values of mālama safeguards our collective wellbeing in a changing world.

As we integrate these principles in our daily lives, it is also important to celebrate our accomplishments and understandings. We are aware of so much more as we continue to embrace the teachings from our past to the present. One such celebration is the Merrie Monarch Festival that offers a fantastic chance to immerse ourselves in the richness and vibrancy of our culture. It is a moment to rejoice in our traditions, engage with our community, and reaffirm our dedication to our cultural practices, health, and wellbeing.

With each step towards health, we propel our community towards a thriving future.

Kanoa Ng is the executive director of Hui Mālama Ola Nā ʻŌiwi, the Native Hawaiian Health Care System that serves the entire island of Hawaiʻi. Based in Hilo, Hui Mālama offers family medicine providers and a robust schedule of workshops, classes and support groups to help you keep you and your ʻohana healthy. You can find the Hui’s booth among the other vendors at the upcoming Merrie Monarch Festival. E hui pū!