Tag Archives: surfing

It’s Aloha Friday!

The hardest part is finding the little surfboard.
The hardest part is finding the little surfboard.

So it’s Aloha Friday.  It seems like we should start things with a picture of a surfing squirrel.  (With all credit to the Photoshop wizards that created it.)  Granted, this has very little to do with grants for Native Hawaiians, unless it’s possible to get funding from OHA for a surfing squirrel program.  (And I’m not saying that it’s not.)  But it can’t all be frustrating government spending programs and mysterious money trails.

So . . . have you been enjoying any Hawaiian language television lately?  Don’t look at me–I have vitally important Survivor episodes to catch up on.  Also, I can’t speak Hawaiian.  But I do hope that there are quite a few of you out there just pining to see some Hawaiian-language programming.  Because in 2009, the federal Department of Health and Human Services granted $494,104 to Aha Punana Leo for the development of Hawaiian language video content for broadcast.  Apparently, the ability to channel surf right past Hawaiian language programming while trying to find the UH game will help, “advance the social development of Native Hawaiians.”  Of course, here in Hawaii, we’re surrounded by examples and uses of the Hawaiian language, and I can’t see how it does much to offer practical help to the average Native Hawaiian, but who knows . . . maybe a few public access TV programs will do the trick.

Top of the Aloha to You, Brah!

What with it being St. Patrick’s Day and such (and a happy one to you), I thought we’d step away from the usual stuff for today, and give a small nod to the awesome that results from combining the influences of Ireland and Hawaii.

No, I’m not talking about green poi.  (If such an abomination exists, I would rather not here about it.)

I’m talking about modern surfing.

We all know that surfing is an invention of the Polynesians, and the original Sport of (Hawaiian) Kings.  And that it was discouraged by the missionaries.  But what is less well known is that it was revived and popularized in the 20th century by a local Hapa-Irish/Hawaiian man named George Freeth, whose father immigrated to Hawaii from Ulster in the 1870s.  Freeth re-introduced surfing in the early 20th century and then helped to make it popular on the mainland (especially California).

A documentary on the Irish contribution to surfing, called Waveriders, traces this story.  Filmed in Ireland, California, and Hawaii (They have surfing in Ireland? Who knew?), the movie won a Best Documentary award in Ireland, and has just been released on DVD.

So there you are–combining Hawaii and Ireland saved surfing.  And I wouldn’t be surprised if you couldn’t come up with a heck of a good boxer out of it too.