Hawaiian words have increasingly gone mainstream in the english language and in the United States. Most Americans are familiar with “Aloha” and “Mahalo”. Slightly less familiar is “haole”. It can mean stranger and since the first visitors to the Hawaiian islands were Caucasian and persons of European descent, the name has been frequently attached to these groups of people. However, I, being of Japanese descent, would, strictly speaking, also be considered a “haole” since I am not a native Hawaiian.
Recently I heard another origin of the word-”no breath”. Intrigued, I researched this further and discovered that, indeed, this is one possible origin. Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haole)
“The 1865 Dictionary of the Hawaiian Language, compiled by Lorrin Andrews, shows the pronunciation as ha-o-le. A popular belief is that the word is properly written and pronounced as hāʻole, literally meaning ‘no breath,’ because foreigners did not know or use the honi, a Polynesian greeting by touching nose-to-nose and inhaling or essentially sharing each other's breaths, and so the foreigners were described as breathless. The implication is not only that foreigners are aloof and ignorant of local ways, but also literally have no spirit or life within...Native Hawaiian Professor Fred Beckley said, ‘The white people came to be known as haole (without breath) because after they said their prayers, they did not breathe three times as was customary in ancient Hawaii.’”
Interesting. The early Hawaiians were aware that man is more than just a body but embodies a spirit. God is the Creator of all men and He has imbued every one with a longing and inherent knowledge of Him.
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Romans 1:20 (ESV)
But knowledge, alone, cannot save. All must confess and repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ and accept Him as their Lord and Savior. And when this happens, the Holy Spirit will indwell within each believer, confirming the new life that has been born.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
John 6:63 (ESV)
Are you a haole? Are you breathless? Does the Holy Spirit indwell within you? There is only one way to be sure. Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.