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!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees