Since moving to Hawaii, I have heard and used the word ‘culture’ more than I ever have in my daily conversations. Culture is such an important thing about Hawaii. We knew this before moving here full time, and prepared for it as much as we could by reading books and watching Hawaiian documentaries. But nothing could prepare us more than just living here and living the aloha lifestyle! You can’t come to Hawaii and not respect their culture here. It was important for us, coming from the mainland, to adapt to the culture here as much as possible instead of trying to do things the way we were used to doing on the mainland.
Coming from the mainland, I have a sense of ‘mainland hustle’ really just meaning – I like to do things fast. Here on Kauai, things just move a bit slower. Not that that’s a bad thing, but I just have had to slow my pace to adapt to the way things move here.
Here are some parts of the Hawaiian culture that I have witnessed so far:
- The Language
- Listed above are some Hawaiian words I hear quite often. I try to use them as much as I can in lieu of my Texas slang Although I will likely always hang on to ‘ya’ll’ haha! The shaka is also seen here frequently. Upon moving here, we were amazed at how friendly the drivers are! They stop to let people pull out all the time. And it is usually always accompanied with a shaka from the friendly driver One thing that has been cool, is they celebrate “aloha Friday” here. Every Friday is celebrated! There is also a strong sense of Ohana here. I hate to say it, but since we worked so much in Texas we didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time together as a family. Now we have spent so much quality time as a family its been refreshing. Living in Hawaii as allowed for us to do that and has given us more time to spend with our kids and my parents.
- The local foods
- Of course I must start with the Loco Moco plate. MMMMMMM! Two hamburger patties on a pile of rice topped with a fried egg. Rice is a staple with every meal here! Or maybe it just is for me haha. Here is some more of the local foods that my family and I have loved: local shaved ice, coconut, taro chips, poke, acai bowls, Mahi Mahi, Ono, Dragonfruit, Guava, Lychee, Papayas, Lilikoi, Lau Lau, SPAM, and much more. Coming from Texas I love all things spicy – so I love to put hot sauce on anything and I have found it goes well with a lot of the dishes here!
- The land
- When driving I hardly ever see trash on the side of the road or on sidewalks. The people here take care of the land because they respect it and want to keep it beautiful and clean. The air is fresh, and there are beautiful plants and flowers everywhere. It rains a lot here, so everything is green on top of that and the ocean waters are crystal blue. It’s because of the constant effort of the people here and the love and respect for the land that it still remains beautiful.
- The people
- You can’t help but love how much the people from Hawaii love their culture. From the hula dances, to the since of ohana, to the friendly drivers! There are generations within one family that have lived and grown up in Hawaii. The Hawaiian heritage runs deep here – and being a ‘mainlander’ I respect that. I am still constantly learning about the culture and asking questions of my friends and acquaintances here that are local Hawaiians. I want to learn more about it, and how I can respect it.
Mahalo for reading!