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Definition of Ohana

Hawaiian word that means “family”. It is used in a general sense that all human beings are part of the same family.


It originates from the term oha, which is the root of taro. This is a plant grown in Hawaii for thousands of years. The oha is also called the “stick of life”.

The Ohana then is of great importance in the Hawaiian culture, as it is the “basis of life”. This comes from the love relationship between people that grows stronger and allows building a home: the pillar of every society.

Contrary to popular belief, your Ohana are not necessarily blood relatives, but are all people with whom you have a very strong bond of affection. This is how home, in Hawaiian culture, does not necessarily have to be built with the people you love.


For Hawaiian culture, Ohana is more than a word, it is a tradition, it is culture. Represents the values ​​that sustain the people, such as love, union, and reciprocity. Every loved one is tied to you, and they must cooperate and remember each other.

The term Ohana has become popular all over the world thanks to the 2002 Disney movie, Lilo and Stitch. In its plot, Ohana is always present because Stitch, when living with Lilo, realizes that she is his family, and completely changes his behavior, becoming sensitive and kind. The best known phrase from this movie is : “Ohana means family. And your family never abandons you or forgets you”.

Finding Ohana is a family adventure film that premiered on Netflix on January 29, 2021. It was directed by Jude Weng and written by Christina Strain.