"...May Day is Lei Day in Hawai`i
Garlands of flowers ev'rywhere,
All of the colors in the rainbow
Maidens with blossoms in their hair
Flowers that mean we should be happy,
Throwing aside a load of care,
Oh, May Day is Lei Day in Hawai`i
Lei Day is happy day out there."
~ Red Hawke, 1928
I remember schoolwide Lei Day pageants we'd do for our parents on May Day at my elementary school. We'd sing the above song- the tune is still in my head. Each grade had a dance or song that they performed on the basketball courts outdoors while hundreds of other kids and parents sat in the park and watched. It's been a long time since I've worn a lei. When I'm feeling particularly whimsical, I'll pick a flower and put it behind my ear- but it's just not the same when it's not a plumeria flower or hibiscus. I'd weave a "string lei" with my fingers to wear- it wouldn't wilt like the flower ones. And the candy leis tied with ribbons were a treat!
Sigh. There are days I miss Hawaii. If only I could find flight deals to get out there, I would return in a heartbeat.
This week, however, Iolani Palace on Oahu was taken over by a Hawaiian sovereignty movement group, declaring themselves the rightful government. I went there as a field trip in fourth grade. The movement is interesting, and it's a wonder you don't hear more of it on the mainland. But, then, there's a lot of news in Hawaii that doesn't make it off the islands.