Hawaiian Trivia

A fun fact to know and tell. It means more, once you have seen the street signs and names of towns and regions in Hawaii.

Just how many letters are there in the Hawaiian Alphabet?

According to Wikipedia and Answers.com:    "The Hawaiian language was an oral tradition. The Hawaiian alphabet (piapa), was written by 19th century missionaries. The alphabet contains 12 letters: 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u) and 7 consonants (h, k, l, m, n, p, w).   Plus the ' (okina), making 13."


After our first trip to Hawaii, I sought out the popular culture book on Hawaii by James Michener.  It was made into a Hollywood movie in the mid-1960s, featuring  Max Von Sydow, Julie Andrews, Richard Harris, Carol O'Connor, Gene Hackman, and in a bit part, the girl who would become a major singing/stage sensation, Bette Midler!  (ti's true, look for the fiery redhead as a seasick passenger early on in the lifeboat scene.  It's her, to be sure!)

Two cultures collide in this vast, lavish and truly spectacular film starring Julie Andrews, Max Von Sydow, Richard Harris, Gene Hackman and Carroll O'Connor. Adapted from James A. Michener's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and nominated* for seven Oscars!

The week after we returned from Hawaii, I ventured to a repair shop in Vienna, "Pete and Libby's".  How surprised I was to see in their waiting room, a VHS copy of this three hour movie on a shelf below their TV.  I asked for permission to borrow it, and watched the movie at home.... remembering that I had seen it's commercial television debut many many years ago on CBS or similar evening movie.  I could not find a DVD nor VHS copy in any of my libraries nor video rental stores!

Seeking out the audio book of Micheners' work, I found a 23 CD audio 'book on tape' at the Parkersburg Public Library.  I popped the first CD in the player and listed to the first chapter.  It is without characters, and only describes the geographic processes that shaped the island before humans came to Hawaii.   The actual movie addresses only one chapter, 3- I think,  and describes the Protestant minister who founded the church in Lahaina in his single-minded drive to make a difference and save the natives.

There was another movie sequel made, "The Hawaiians", but I don't recall seeing any of that movie yet.  Do you know where I can find a copy of it?*


Since writing this, I have searched Amazon.com and found a SPANISH version only on sale.  Can't be played in the USA without an all-format DVD player on hand... very rare!

But even better, I have discovered in the discussion pages that the service Hulu.com has a full copy of the movie for viewing on line for "free"... just with some commercial interruptions.   It stars Charleton Heston in a role similar to "Naked Jungle", but also stars two Asia movie stars... including Mako!  I intend to watch t when I get home.   For best viewing, I'd watch the earlier movie first, as this one picks up the story with the  offspring of the characters in the first movie, I believe.

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