Sunday, February 2, 2014

4 Things You Didn't Know Were "A Thing" in Hawaii

Surfers? Check. Pineapples? Check. Ukuleles? Check. But here are a few things I didn't expect to find while visiting family on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

1) Asians. Lots. And lots. Of Asians.

The most prominent people group in Hawaii consists not of Native Islanders, nor of white mainlanders. Rather, nearly 40% of the total population is Asian! 

Only 9% of current Hawaii residents are Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders. And yet native words and motifs are used everywhere. You'll very rarely see "thank you;" it's always "mahalo." And everyone seems to enjoy making jokes at the expense of us "haoles." I can't help but wonder if those of native descent are honored by the fact that their culture is staying in style as they fade away. Or, rather, are they insulted that all these people who contribute to its disappearance are so desperate to identify with it?

Sorry, that was a little deep. Either way, where back in Arkansas I would expect to see many signs and instructions written in both English and Spanish, here they are written in English and Japanese. And there are plenty of options for sushi!


For the stats listed above and more go here:

2) Spam Musubi.

As further evidence of the Asian influence, this interesting snack has shown up everywhere. It's a regular at my little cousins' basketball games...on the snack shack menu right along with burgers and hotdogs. I've also seen it in actual restaurants.

I guess you just take a slab of spam, place it on a well shaped chunk of sticky rice, and wrap it in seaweed. Yes, I tried it. A few days ago I even had a hankering for it. Yum!


3) Kendamas

This traditional Japanese toy has apparently spread like wildfire through Hawaiian schools in the past couple of months. The kids take them everywhere. Some schools have even banned them!

I made a short vlog showing how they are used, but Blogger and my computer don't want to agree and upload it directly to this page. So here is a link to it on the Unsettled Voyage vlog page:

4) Slitted Windows

I'm not sure if there is an official name for these, but they are pretty standard in Hawaiian homes. Not surprisingly, air conditioning is NOT a thing. It really hasn't been so bad, though. I prefer being hot to being cold and I rather like the outdoor air circulating through the house!

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