After growing up in Hawaii and relocating to Oregon, Italy, and Indiana, I’ve had to combat numerous stereotypes regarding my home state. From “Did you live in a grass shack?” and “Do you eat pineapple with everything?” to “Do you have running water?” I’ve received a variety of inquiries.
There have been times when I was so exhausted by these inquiring individuals (also known as, damn haoles, which means a foreigner or someone who is not a native of Hawaii). However, I’ve also learned patience. These individuals were not fortunate enough to grow up in such an amazing place.
Here are eight ways to irritate a native of my beloved Hawaii:
1. Inquire if a passport is required to visit Hawaii.
Believe it or not, I have received this question quite frequently. Before planning a trip to Hawaii, please refresh your knowledge of geography and history. Since 1959, specifically, we have been a state.
2. Tell us how ridiculously we pronounce words such as “Hawaii,” “Mahalo,” and “Aloha,” etc.
Here we reside. Because Ws are pronounced as Vs, “Hawaii” is pronounced huh-vi-ee. Additionally, vowels are articulated as follows:
Counting the ‘okina symbol as a letter, the Hawaiian alphabet contains thirteen letters. The ‘okina is the apostrophe and a glottal stop/break in a word that is spoken very quickly. Additionally, there is the kahako, which is a vowel-specific accent mark that serves to lengthen the vowel sound.
Mispronouncing the ‘okina or kahako can alter the pronunciation and meaning of a word.
Therefore, your pronunciation of these words is odd.
3. Littering is okay
Nothing upsets me more than seeing trash on our beautiful beaches or anywhere else. Due to the island nature of Hawaii, your trash will end up in our oceans. Live and learn malama da aina (to take care of the land).
4. Everyone in Hawaii is Hawaiian
Hawaii is home to countless ethnic groups. I have been referred to numerous times as the “Hawaiian girl,” despite the fact that I am not of Hawaiian descent. I’m Filipino, Japanese, Okinawan, Italian, French, and German. In elementary school, we are taught to befriend people of all ethnicities and to embrace the Hawaiian culture.
5. Please define “cold”
If we claim to be cold, we are cold. We don’t care if the temperature is 65 degrees when you’re used to 20 degrees. We do not appreciate your incessant “Cold?! You have no idea what cold is!”
Lowest temperatures in Hawaii are in the low 60s, and anything below 74 degrees is considered cold. And that is fine.
6. That it is acceptable to be a rude driver
Now, I am aware that there are always exceptions to the rule, but in Hawaii, the majority of people tend to tro’ da shaka, or allow someone to merge into your lane. And we typically only honk to greet familiar drivers on the road.
7. That we spend every moment at the beach
We also have jobs. People in Hawaii must earn a living, work an average of eight hours per day, deal with an exorbitant cost of living, and endure hours upon hours of pau hana (time after work) traffic, which is among the worst in the United States.
Lastly, but certainly not least, one of my favorites…
8. Inquiring as to why we fly to other islands when we can simply… swim
Topic: 8 Things You Should Never Say to Hawaiians
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