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The Hawaiian word ohana has deep and special meaning for the peoples of Hawaii. Ohana, or family, is a word that seems to go beyond the strict definition of family to include loyalty, pride in a shared heritage and sense of community. Love ties can be more important even than those of blood. In ohana, one simply belongs. Here, one is safe.
Feeling as they do about ohana, it is little wonder that Hawaii is so welcoming to those visiting our shores with small children or with aging parents. In much of the world you'd be on your own, but in Hawaii, a reliable babysitter is always available. A qualified caregiver to push your parent's wheelchair or take her shopping is easy to arrange. Ohana is about helping one another.
Family ties created the Hawaii you see today. Much of the history of Hawaiian music has been written across generations of musical families. You hear their influence wherever you hear the ukulele or slack key guitar. Take the hula-the hula halau is a family dedicated to preservation of the dance. Whenever you see the hula, you see ohana. Go to any public park on a sunny Sunday afternoon and you will see ohana.
A family can hike together. A family can get seasick and sunburned together. A family can walk on a battleship together and ride in a submarine together. It is needless sacrifice to miss out on the islands 'because of the kids.' To have a good time is the whole point of traveling to Hawaii. To be together is the whole point of arriving as a family. The hotels know that, so many offer activities geared to families. The tour guides know that, so all are accustomed to meeting a family's needs. The attraction operators know that, so extra care is taken to create a safe experience.
Indeed, Hawaii is the premiere family destination in the world.