You reach a point as a newcomer when you’ve finally accepted Hawaiian culture. For example, some have a hard time adjusting to the lifestyle here, but after a while most come to love the values of Hawaiian culture here in the islands. It’s not a difficult lifestyle to learn to love.
How to show you’ve accepted Hawaiian culture #1: You wear aloha shirts on Aloha Fridays.
Aloha Fridays are almost revered in Hawaii. People get so excited for Friday, the weekend, and spending those days at the beach. We name our Fridays, “Aloha Fridays,” and everyone wears aloha shirts to work and school. In other places, Friday has been named, “casual Friday.” The idea is similar to Aloha Friday, but in the islands it’s almost like a semi-holiday for us to celebrate making it through the week. It’s Aloha Friday!
How to show you’ve accepted Hawaiian culture #2: You bring leis to the airport for newcomers.
When you first arrived in Hawaii, you were probably given a lei at some point. Leis are a common greeting and also seen as a celebratory gift. For example, at graduations, people give the graduate a lei, in addition to money. When you’ve been living in the islands for a while and someone decides to visit you, you know that you’ve accepted Hawaiian culture when you bring leis to the airport for them. This act signifies that you’re no longer a newcomer yourself, but that you are now welcoming the newcomers. It’s great!
How to show you’ve accepted Hawaiian culture #3: The fastest you drive is 65 mph on the freeway.
When people first move to Hawaii, their instinct is to drive incredibly fast on our freeways. It takes a while for people to catch on to the fact that people don’t drive fast here on the islands, even in the left lane of the freeway. However, once you’ve accepted Hawaiian culture, you realize that “island time” is actually a thing. You realize that there’s no rush to get anywhere and because everyone else is also on “island time,” they’re pretty relaxed about time constraints. Although this may not apply in professional environments, it still has its effects on the roads.
How to show you’ve accepted Hawaiian culture #4: You swallow your pride.
Local people are very softspoken. They don’t feel the need to interject their opinions. They’re not noisy and boisterous or bombastic, either. They’re very calm. This is where the “Shaka,” comes from. The “shaka,” is a hand gesture that represents the phrase “hang loose.” Locals would rather swallow their pride and go about their own ways instead of putting up a fight or an argument. It’s not worth it to them. It’s just not a part of the culture.
How to show you’ve accepted Hawaiian culture #5: You make spam musubis to take to the beach.
Spam musubis are a local treat that’s sold at any gas station, grocery store, and 7-eleven. They’re easy and cheap, and a yummy snack to fuel you up when you’re out surfing at the beach. You know you’re really an islander when you make spam musubis to bring with you on hikes or take to the beach. It’s just part of Hawaiian culture to always bring some some sort of food with you when you’re going out. In addition to spam musubis, poke bowls are also a favorite at the beach. On the way to cromwells, I’ll swing by Foodland to pick up a spam musubi and a poke bowl to enjoy while watching the sunset!