Deep Connections with Our Kūpuna

By Tiffany Yajima ’97, P’31 P’36, PFA Kindergarten Grade Representative

Kūpuna Week at Punahou is a special occasion in the kindergarten community that recognizes and celebrates our respected grandparents, ancestors and elders and honors where we come from. This year, kindergarten students honored their kūpuna on special days of the week. In Donna Reid-Hayes’ ’78 kindergarten class, we celebrated Kūpuna Day on February 14 – Valentine’s Day – a special mashup of holidays that served as a wonderful opportunity for our children to express gratitude, love and appreciation for the wisdom, guidance and unconditional love that their kūpuna provide.

Kūpuna Week also provides a moment to appreciate the special ties that connect us within the community. As I reflect back on that morning, I realize that many of our conversations centered around making those connections: whether between kūpuna, parents and grandchildren, or between teachers and students, many of us discovered that our new kindergarten friendships actually began with bonds that were formed generations ago beginning with our kūpuna.

Our kūpuna truly connect us with our past. They guide our cultural traditions and give us our sense of place and being. It was such a privilege to be able to assist the PFA during Kūpuna Week to facilitate as chaperones and helpers in honor of these living treasures. The children performed songs, shared special messages of thanks, and enjoyed many special treats served by PFA Homeroom Parents. Events like these ultimately serve to foster strong bonds in these initial formative years between the youngest and eldest members of our community and the Punahou community at large.

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