Things Locals Want You to Know Before Coming to Hawaii

Honolulu tours and other Hawaiian visits are never news as the state is considered to be one of the favorite places when it comes to a lot of places and activities like surfing, hiking trails, and beautiful beaches.   

If you never had visited Hawaii, then now is the time to pay a visit and if you already have, I am sure that you still want to go here again and again. As one of the locals here in Hawaii, I still can’t get enough of the pretty sceneries we have here. And of course, we like you to visit us here. I will share with you some of the things you want to know before you visit Hawaii. If you know these things, you will appreciate more the beauty of the island and your stay will be more convenient.   

Here are the few things that locals want you to know:  

1. Learn some Hawaiian words – learning a few Hawaiian words would be greatly appreciated by the locals. There are two official languages of Hawaii and these are Hawaiian and English language although we prefer you also learn some Hawaiian words too! If it seems very difficult on your side, worry not as we can always speak English. There is just something special about foreigners learning Hawaiian words and some of its dialects. Opala means trashcan and for bathrooms, remember that kane means men and wahine means women. Locals also greet you with makai while businessmen and formally greet you with E komo mai. Here is a list of some of the Hawaiian words you may need to know to make it more convenient.   

You should not try to speak pidgin which is used in casual conversations by the locals as this might come off as an insult.   

2. Hawaii is a state but it was a monarchy before so we pay tribute to the royalty – Hawaii honors the royalty and for us, it is important that we keep the legacy of royalty as this is embedded in our culture. In fact, we celebrate different holidays in commemoration and celebration of some monarchs such as the June 11 for King Kamehameha I and March 26 for Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole. We treat these days as holidays and public establishments and schools will close. Besides this, there are also festivals and parades   

3. Respect the sacred sites – there are many sacred sites on the island and we want the visitors to pay respect to them. Culture and traditions are also reflected on these and although some of them may look like just rocks, they mean a lot of the people of Hawaii. You may encounter some kapu, or heiau which are Hawaiian temples. Not leaving trash, not being noisy, and not walking on these lands are a sign of respect that we need from the visitors.   

4. remove your shoes when you enter houses – removing shoes is something that we do when we enter inside our homes and this is not only practiced in Hawaii but also in other countries in Asia. Taking off the shoes is a sign of respect as it helps the homeowner to keep the house clean, and not taking it is a sign of cultural ignorance or disrespect.   

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