There’s a Law in Hawaii That Says You Have to Be Nice to People
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Telling someone he or she “must think and emote good feelings to others” might sound like the kind of truism a SoulCycle instructor would say at the end of class. But it is, in fact, an actual law in Hawaii. It’s called the “Aloha Spirit” law, and it’s encoded in the Hawaii Revised Statutes, Section 5-7.5.
“The Aloha Spirit is the coordination of mind and heart within each person,” the law declares. “It brings each person to the Self. Each person must think and emote good feelings to others. In the contemplation and presence of the life force, Aloha, the following unuhi laulâ loa (free translation) may be used.”
- Akahai, meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;
- Lôkahi, meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;
- Olu`olu, meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;
- Ha`aha`a, meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;
- Ahonui, meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance. (HI Rev Stat § 5-7.5, 2013)
In layman’s terms, be nice or leave.
Seeing as how the Hawaiian archipelago comprises some of the most remote islands in the world — more than 2,900 miles from the nearest continent — it makes sense that a concept such as “aloha” came about. For decades, Hawaiians had to get along with each other because there was simply nowhere else to go. The law became official in 1986, but it’s ingrained in the culture there.
According to the BBC, “the consequences are real” if you don’t act with Aloha Spirit. It’s symbolic for the most part, but the people of the island take it as words to live by.
And Jeremiah Felsen, owner of Kauai Hiking Tours, said it’s more of a way to “preserve [the] Hawaiian culture of friendliness and openness and have it on record for everyone to know,” and that the law is not actually enforced.
So during your next trip to the Aloha State, you’ll know that the word is more than just a simple “hello” and “goodbye.”
Featured photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.