Hawai’ian culture derives from many cultures, and depending on which island the diversity changes. The Big island brought cowboys from Mexico for their ranches, Maui brought in chines for the cane fields, Oahu has a huge flux of mainlanders due to the militar. the majority on the islands consists of mainlanders which they call Haoles (translates to no breath), Japanese, Polynesians Hawaiian, and Filipino. Hawaii is very isolated from the continents yet there is many islands on the pacific, however the big island is considered the most populated for its relative size. The closest to the Us Is California at 2,500 miles to California with Japan being 4,100 miles away. What people in the United States, called Mainland, see is from Hawaii 50 and other media outlets. Yet that is not Hawaii that is paradise marketed to increase the tourism economy. There are people in Hawaii that feel the island was not taken nicely by the US but most feel a kinship to the US.
The cultural differences come from being isolated and having to rely on family or Ohana because until recently there was no Walmart or Costco, and even those are only on two islands. And with Amazon now the world is now opening up to the residents. Hence the culture is uniquely Hawaiian. The diversity in the travelers that made residents on this island create a difference that is found nowhere else. Hawaii is a place where all cultures meet and create a unique and welcoming place to live.
In Hawaii, it is common to have more then one generation in a household, the paper “unpacking Cultural effects on Classroom Learning” observed on the island there is “…Hawaiian sibling caretaking varies widely across households and individual child experience. Parents’ beliefs about sib-care show a mix of shared acceptance and ambivalence. In natal settings, child-generated activities, carried on without adult intervention, produce most literacy-related behaviors (such as school-like tasks and increased language use). Among the classroom learning activities that are successful with Native Hawaiian children are child-generated interactions, in which children are able to use scripts similar to those observed in natal settings. Other features of natal activity settings (such as personal, goals and motives, and everyday tasks) are discontinuous with those of the classroom centers.” though this happens ion the mainland, older siblings take care of all not just the brothers and sisters, but mom, dad, grandma, grandpa and extended family. This is expected of the older children to financially and physically care for the family.
Some fun differences:
In Hawaii, it is common…(adapted from Quora)
- to remove your shoes when entering someone’s house
- to have chop sticks available at all restaurants
- to find shoyu (soy sauce) as a condiment in most restaurants
- to find a scoop of macaroni salad,(mac salad in Hawaii is potatoes, pasta, egg and mayo)
- to always have rices as a side dish (do not expect french fries)
- to call everyone Aunty or Uncle (a sign of both respect and endearment)
- to give flower leis on special occasions (graduations, weddings, high school proms, etc.)
- to wear rubber slippers (i.e. flip flops) instead of tennis shoes
- to wear white at funerals
- to paddle out on surfboards as the end to a funeral
- to see politicians of Asian ancestry.
- to see people stocking up when there’s a sale on Spam (there is hundreds of types of SPAM – there is usually a whole grocery isle)
- to offer your guests leftovers to take home, after a party (normally, you always make more than you need, for this very reason)
- to bring back gifts (‘omiyage’) for friends and relatives, when you travel
Though we are all the same we are different. And though the above is in Hawaii, giving food is a Jewish trait, and you may also do some of the above yet culture is about people who are all the same yet a little different.