Hyuma Sticker: A Pali Phenomenon


Jackson Jeffers, Staff Writer

Whether on laptops, phones or lockers, stickers are one of the most common ways for students to express themselves on campus. And there is one sticker in particular — an adaptation of Pali senior Hyuma Umeda’s 2018-19 yearbook picture — that has risen to popularity at Pali High. “My love for Hyuma is undying,” senior Matthew Polovinchik said. “A few weeks ago during the fires, I saw Hyuma at the gym, and it made my entire week. Getting a Hyuma sticker was an amazing experience. It lets me publicly display my love for Hyuma, which is a beautiful thing.”

These stickers, affectionately dubbed Hyuma Stickers, have taken Pali by storm. Senior Lenny Melamed, creator of the stickers, explained his motivations: “I love Hyuma unconditionally.”

Melamed said that it all began in an AP Lang class last year when students started yelling his name. “We yelled HYUMA,” Melamed said. “HYUMA has [a] yellable name.” Melamed decided to capitalize on Umeda’s newfound popularity by creating the stickers and using a website to print 125 of them for $20. Melamed stated that the stickers “were immediately popular. I have seen well over 100 people with them, even on cars that I didn’t recognize.”

In response to the unexpected popularity, for the “new and glossy” second batch, he printed four times as many. Melamed is essentially the only vendor for the stickers. “If you see me, I’ll have them,” he said. “They’re generally free, but I feel like I should start charging.”
So what does Hyuma think? “I was impartial about it [when the stickers started circulating],” he said. “I found it very funny that random people had my picture. I find it weird that people I don’t know have them, but overall it’s funny seeing people with it.”

But who is Pali High senior Hyuma Umeda? According to Umeda, his primary interest is food, of which his favorite is potatoes. “I absolutely love potatoes… Imagine the most tasty food combined with the most pragmatic food and you get potatoes,” he said. Academically, Umeda intends to pursue science and math in higher education. To him, math concepts are “the building blocks we created to understand the workings of the world.” He also likes history because it teaches people about who they are, and English because it provides insight into human emotions and opportunity for reflection.

Outside of school, Umeda enjoys reading books about math and history. He also loves working out, saying, “you get to get away from everything [and] focus solely on your body.” Umeda frequently plays video games, describing them as similar to books, allowing one to “dive into a world different from our own and live through [it].”

Clearly, there’s something special about Umeda, as Hyuma Stickers have proven to be an immensely popular trend, with more than 100 students bearing them. Bona-fide Hyuma-Sticker-owner and senior Stefan Pietro Goy explains the appeal of the stickers, saying “they’re just funny. That’s really all there is to it.”