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Sex health app changing name after raising ire over use of 'hula'

By Jennifer Sinco Kelleher / Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:48 a.m. HST, May 07, 2014

A sexual health information app called "Hula" will be changing its name after complaints that it is culturally insensitive to Native Hawaiians, the app's owner said Tuesday.

Ramin Bastani, founder and CEO of Los Angeles-based Qpid.me Inc., said that after weeks of learning to understand concerns of the Native Hawaiian community, he's moving forward with the name change.

"We immediately engaged the community and listened with an open mind," he said. "By doing so, we gained a great respect for hula, the Hawaiian culture and its history."

An online petition asking him to change the name argued that it exploits a sacred cultural dance. Bastani previously said the name would remain, even after the petition gained some attention in March, but he immediately removed any references to "getting lei'd" in marketing the app.

"As we continued to listen and learn, we realized this is the right thing for us to do," he said. Recently, the controversy seemed to die down, he said, but that "quiet period" allowed the company to "truly reflect."

Bastani apologized to anyone who was offended by the name.

"That was absolutely never our intent," he said.

On Friday, the state Senate Hawaiian Affairs Caucus and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs issued a statement calling the name "highly insensitive, tactless and inappropriate."

Office of Hawaiian Affairs CEO Kamanaopono Crabbe said in a statement Tuesday, "We appreciate this change, in acknowledgement that no culture should be demeaned for profit or convenience."

Bastani said a new name hasn't been determined, but he assured it won't have anything to do with Hawaii.

"We promise to change the name in the very near future," he said, estimating it will happen in the next month or so, after ironing out legal details and other issues.

"We need to redo our entire website, all of our marketing, our application," he said. "There's a lot we need to do."

Bastani said he'll continue to educate others not to associate "getting lei'd" with his health tool.

The free app's website says its functions include helping users find an STD test center, get the results online, and share their verified STD status with people they choose.

Bastani said the app is about "helping people retrieve and share health information."

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manakuke wrote:
Understanding and action occurs after very patient efforts.
on May 7,2014 | 03:15AM
DiverDave wrote:
"it was insensitive" What a bunch of whinny cry babies!
on May 7,2014 | 06:47AM
8082062424 wrote:
only whinny cry baby is you and KC . any time there a story that has to do with native Hawaiians in some way or form you cry and wine. sad
on May 7,2014 | 02:59PM
loquaciousone wrote:
I always enjoy a lengthy well written expose.
on May 7,2014 | 09:08AM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
The news report does not show up on this Star-Advertiser website; but it can be read in its entirety in the Kona online newspaper at http://westhawaiitoday.com/news/local-news/controversial-mobile-app-change-name-after-outcry

Perhaps the new name for the app formerly known as "Hula" should be "Lili'uokalani." Here's why that would be an appropriate name. The Queen had multiple adulterous sexual affairs, and apparently never got an STD. Thus she set an example for "her people." This news report describes the creator of the STD app as having now been brainwashed by the Hawaiian political-correctness thought police about Hawaiian history and culture and wanting to show respect for them. So it's natural that he might want to select a name from Hawaiian history and culture to be the new name for his app.

It's well known that Lili'uokalani had an affair with Henry Berger, bandmaster of the Royal Hawaiian Band.

It's less well known that she had an ongoing affair right on the Palace grounds with the man she appointed to be Marshall of the Kingdom, Charles B. Wilson. She ordered the bungalow on the Palace grounds to be repaired (roof blown off by hand grenade in the Wilcox rebellion of 1889). The Queen provided living quarters in the bungalow to Wilson and his wife Eveline, thus keeping Wilson conveniently available for trysts. The Queen appointed Eveline to be one of her ladies in waiting even while husband Charles was her lover. This long-term affair on Palace grounds with Marshall Charles B. Wilson is documented by Stephen Dando-Collins in his book "Taking Hawaii: How Thirteen Honolulu Businessmen Overthrew the Queen of Hawaii in 1893, With a Bluff" whose title shows the author is a supporter of the Queen and thus apparently considers her affairs to be normal and even laudable.

And we know the ex-queen lived a long and healthy life for 24 years (died 1917) after bring overthrown in the revolution of 1893. So it seems that despite her numerous adulterous affairs she never got an STD; and that's the purpose of the app formerly called "Hula." So the creator of the app should rename it in honor of Lili'uokalani.

on May 7,2014 | 09:58AM
hanalei395 wrote:
When Ken Conks, he will be shipped back to wherever he came from. And be dissolved forever.
on May 7,2014 | 11:18AM
8082062424 wrote:
Boston does not want him back
on May 7,2014 | 03:03PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Wow, conklin really hates anything Hawaiian. I suppose he was actually there to witness these events. Or he may just believe these "rumors" perpetuated by authors of question.
on May 7,2014 | 06:04PM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
On the contrary. Did you ever notice that Lili'uokalani had the good sense to marry a Caucasian? And all her adulterous affairs were with Caucasians. So she had very good ... shall we say taste ... in men.
on May 7,2014 | 07:37PM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Hahaha, you call yourself a Doctor. Lol.
on May 7,2014 | 09:33PM
Ronin006 wrote:
Here we go again. So hula is now a sacred cultural art form. I don't dispute hula being a cultural art form, but to say that it is sacred is absurd. All Native Hawaiians have to do to get their way is to call something sacred and everyone runs scared and caves in to their demands.
on May 7,2014 | 10:08AM
KaneoheSJ wrote:
This is either a joke on us readers who will fall for it (like I am) and post their two-cents or what have you on a social issue or it was simply an error. If it was an error, move along. Nothing here to see. Wait, that white space is such a contrast to the background designs devoid of any information. Waiting on the trolls to converge. "Follow the buzzard?"
on May 7,2014 | 11:03AM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
Either the webmaster is asleep, or else part of a conspiracy to make it look like the article is on the website when in fact only the headline is presented. The news report does not show up on this Star-Advertiser website; but it can be read in its entirety in the Kona online newspaper at
on May 7,2014 | 11:11AM
Ken_Conklin wrote:
I see that the webmaster finally woke up and posted the article in addition to its headline. Congratulations!
on May 7,2014 | 01:30PM
loquaciousone wrote:
For a moment, I thought it was only me who saw nothing.
on May 7,2014 | 03:01PM
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