Native Hawaiians shouldn’t have to explain their religion or articulate why they view Mauna Kea as sacred. That which is most sacred is often beyond articulation.
“The most important two words of Gov. David Ige’s speech of May 27 on Mauna Kea were the words “host culture.”
“I believe our core values need to be: 1. The importance of respecting our host culture,” the governor said, in part.
How does one respect a “host culture?” Well, what is a “host?” A host is the family or group that gives a party, or the bride and groom who host a reception, or any organization, reunion class, gang of workers that hosts a celebration. The host usually provides the place, food and drink, entertainment and an atmosphere of friendship and good times.
But, the guests, too, have responsibilities. Sometimes they brings gifts, such as at weddings. Often they contribute food and drink. But always they bring the appropriate attitude — one of respect, gratitude and friendship. Guests don’t make up their own rules. They abide by the general outline provided by the host. If there is to be no diving in the pool, such a rule is respected…”
“In this controversy over Mauna Kea we are not acknowledging two things. First, we fail to take note, as the governor pointed out, that Native Hawaiians are the host culture. Second, guests must respect the rules of the host. This has been forgotten. Thus, we have defined this controversy as one where the values of the host are less than the values of the guest…”