Hawaiian Airlines is celebrating mahina ʻōlelo Hawai‘i (Hawaiian language month) by partnering with local designer Keola Nakaʻahiki Rapozo to launch the ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i Collection, a co-branded line of clothing and accessories whose sales proceeds will benefit Ke Kula ‘o Samuel M. Kamakau Laboratory Public Charter School.
The collection, created by Make®eady Owner and FITTED Co-Founder Rapozo and available for pre-sale on Hawaiian’s online logo store, features seven exclusive items ranging from T-shirts to totes and mugs. The inspiration behind the collection focuses on Ōhāhā, meaning “flourishing, fully developed, and healthy,” and was influenced by Rapozo’s own keiki (children) with a goal to mālama (care for) the younger generation and encourage the normalization of ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.
All proceeds from the collection will be donated to Ke Kula ʻo Samuel M. Kamakau to support the windward O‘ahu school’s teaching of ʻōlelo Hawai‘i traditionally and digitally through innovative concepts.
Employees from Hawaiian’s volunteer program, Team Kōkua, will also work closely with teachers at Ke Kula ‘o Samuel M. Kamakau to develop Hawaiian language lessons for the airline’s Ke Kumu class, which is currently offered virtually to employees and retirees.
“We are proud ambassadors of our island home, and our employees embrace the opportunity to share the Hawaiian culture with each other and our guests,” said Debbie Nakanelua-Richards, director of community and cultural relations at Hawaiian Airlines. “We’re excited to grow mahina ʻōlelo Hawai‘i this year with a new design collaboration and school partnership while continuing to engage our guests with a unique onboard experience.”
Hawaiian kicked off mahina ʻōlelo Hawai‘i celebrations yesterday with a surprise and delight ʻōlelo Hawai‘i flight, a tradition now in its third year aimed at engaging its guests, employees and community members in the normalization and perpetuation of the Hawaiian language.
Hawaiian Airlines employees took guests by surprise when they conducted gate and inflight announcements in ʻōlelo Hawai‘i and English on four flights between Honolulu and Kona. Guests also received an ʻōlelo Hawai‘i interaction card with useful phrases for requesting beverages in ʻōlelo Hawai’i from the Hawaiian language-certified flight attendants who crewed the flights.