What does Aloha truly mean for the Hawaiian natives? Love, presence, sharing, harmony and peace are some answers. Its true meaning was experienced in the town Pahoa on the Big Island after the 2014 eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. The story that followed is about people accepting their faith and honoring Mother Nature’s will.
On April 7, the premiere of Aloha From Lavaland aired at the Hawaii International Film Festival. The film directs the aftermath of the volcano eruption. The flow of lava was hard to predict, and the people in the rural town Pahoa had to prepare for possible isolation. The documentary explores how the people handled such uncertainty, and what they value the most.
Celebration of birth
The waiting is the hardest part. The community prepared for the worst, which would mean total isolation. However, the Hawaiians did not consider it a bad thing. The waiting game had people accepting their faith, and instead considering the possibilities that would arise. This was a cleansing, that would create new wonderful things. A conflict aroused between people sharing this belief and people who wanted to control or escape the lava. Puna lost 10 % of its residents and it revealed who were “real” Hawaiians, that accepted the time and flow of the elements.
Puna is the home of the spiritual and where we celebrate this exciting change in our community.
The eruption meant a special connection with Pele, the volcano goddess.
She is family. We are birthing with her.
Pele is our sister, we will never own our land, if she feels that she wants to clean her house, let her clean her house.
A beautiful story to tell
The town’s only shopping center eventually closed. But that opened new opportunities for the people who had decided to stay. They now had the chance to create a new model of sustainability to show the world. To start a new life by holding nature values above human. People started to grow their own food, work together and embrace the simpler things in life. Putting the Aloha spirit in real practice.
Pele will stop the lava if we trust her, she will do it for the collective people who love her.
And Pele responded.
This is a powerful story. Their simple values illustrate such a contrast to the values of modern life. They felt blessed by the opportunity to really focus on what is important in life. Focusing on love and bonds, without the distractions and influences of the spinning world outside. It is important to pause. The simpler things are sometimes the hardest to live by.