If you’re going to live in Hawaii, or should I say “the melting pot,” is a unique place filled with several different cultures, languages and ethnicities and you need to know about adjusting to Hawaii culture if you’re going to survive. Hawaii is one of the few states where although you may be a resident of the state you can’t identify as a “Hawaiian” because being Hawaiian requires an ethnic trace of Hawaiian blood. In other states, for example if you live in Idaho you can call yourself an “Idahoan,” because that title doesn’t require any blood trace. The tropical islands are a melting pot of a variety of asian races like Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese and Korean. Hispanics and caucasians are of the minority groups here in the islands. Interestingly enough, there are certain towns and neighborhoods that have a high majority of hispanics and caucasians but compared to the mainland there are few of them.
Adjusting to Hawaii culture: The melting pot
There are several cultural icons like the shaka, spam, rice, calling sandals “slippers” and calling something you’re not sure of “da kine.” These things are all unique to the Hawaii culture and have developed over the years and are utilized throughout multiple ethnicities in the islands.
Enjoy the outdoors helps in adjusting to Hawaii culture
If you’re asking how to fit in, culturally, that’s a difficult question to answer. Caucasian families typically aren’t welcome initially, however there have been numerous “haoles” that have developed a local accent over the years and end up fitting in with the locals here. I think the best way to fit in culturally is to take up a local sport or just get involved with the active lifestyle here, learn how to surf, go hiking, take up paddling, spend every day out in the sun. Hawaii is full of sunshine and if you spend your time mostly outdoors you’ll start looking like a local real quick.
Love the land is key to adjusting to Hawaii culture
Locals also really love to see that newcomers are environmentally friendly and care for the land, so be sure to take care of the ‘Aina while you’re here. If you leave a lot of your trash behind and throw your beer bottles on any beach, locals aren’t going to be that fond of you. It’s important to keep your area clean and pick up after yourself in public places like the beach and whilst on hiking trails.
Make some friends will help you in adjusting to Hawaii culture
It’s also important for you to branch out and make friends with locals. If you just stick to the people you moved here with and don’t make an effort to get to know the locals, then it’s going to be difficult for you to find your nitch in the community. Don’t be afraid to explore new areas and make friends with people at restaurants and at the beach. People in Hawaii are very friendly and it’s not difficult to befriend people in your area, you just have to try!
Overall, the most important thing to do to fit in culturally in Hawaii is to be respectful of locals, the land (the ‘Aina) and enjoy the sunshine. Newcomers that don’t make an effort to go outside and explore the beautiful island are losing out on what could be some amazing experiences, with some amazing people!