Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Shaka sign

Hand signs are prevalent all over the world.  They are a universal language  quickly understood. Flash an upright index and middle finger and you're saying "peace." An upheld clenched fist is a sign of protest. And a thumbs down is an obvious "No."
There is a sign that perhaps not many know about,  especially those of you outside the US . Called the Shaka, the sign is associated with Hawaii and means to "hang loose" or to convey Aloha.  

Surfers visiting Hawaii in the 60s  noticed locals using the sign and quickly spread it to other places. In Brazil, the sign also means to "hang loose." In Asia, the sign is used to represent a Taoist concept of "going with the flow."
I saw the sign  the first time I visited Hawaii. While I was on the road I noticed motorists extending their hand out of their car window and flashing the sign to other motorists.  I thought it very cool.
During the parade celebrating his first inauguration as US President, Barack Obama noticed with surprise the  school band from his old alma mater, Hawaii's Punahou School, leading Hawaii's contingency in the parade.  Instinctively, President Obama  flashed a Shaka with a captivating smile quickly captured by photographers. 

Alhough I was merely watching the parade on TV, I  still couldn't help but brim with delight and pride at the President's unexpected reaction.  I was nearly completely sure that the rest of Hawaii felt like I did.

Shaka! Let's keep connecting.

Let's keep the love going!

US President Barack Obama flashing the Shaka sign during his first inauguration as President in 2009.  Photo source:
Posted with ALOHA

1 comment:

  1. Shaka brah! Right on, that's the way to do it, you're looking good, wow that's great, terrific..... You name it, a quick and easy way to express aloha.