Masters of Lei on National Television

CBS recently featured some of Hawaii’s finest lei makers in a report called “The leis of Hawaii.” The lucky reporter and photographer jet-setted to the Big Island, where they immersed themselves into the delicate fragrance and flourished history of these traditional “flower necklaces,” as they called it.

I was impressed by the depth of the five-minute story, which covered everything from how lei came to the Hawaiian Islands to how they’re used today. In addition to going to local farmers markets and lei shops, the news team got a firsthand tour of a private 10-acre farm on the Big Island. It belonged to a local family of lei makers.

The heartfelt interview with the grandmother and her adult granddaughter was perhaps my most favorite part. They shared the story and meaning behind each flower, each lei, and all the while, tears rolled down her granddaughter’s face. It was a beautiful moment that not only showed passion but also showed the audience just how important the art of lei making is, even in today’s modern world.

The granddaughter, who studied music in Massachusetts, returned to the islands to carry on the family tradition. She described this practice of giving lei perfectly: “While the lei will fade and go away, the love that was in that lei never dies.”

I just love that. To watch the full report, go to www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50139825n.

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