An Overview of the Hawaiian Culture
Aloha! That's how the locals of Hawaii greet you once you step into the beautiful group of islands in the Pacific.
The culture of Hawaii is one of the most celebrated cultures in the world due to its distinctive expression and its diversity in terms of how it is observed. Basically, Hawaiian culture is rich in values and legends which are observed through dance, music, theater, and cuisines. Moreover, Hawaiians keep their culture blazing through a variety of festivals which are held throughout the year. During these festivals, people must emanate good feelings to themselves and towards others.
On this article, we are going to divulge on a variety of Hawaiian cultures that are still practiced by the locals up until now.
Ho'oponopono is a practice of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is widely used across the islands and other South Pacific nations for spiritual, mental, and physical healing. The practice further recognizes the fact that all must be healed should one aspect be healed.
The hula is a prominent tradition in Hawaii that involves wearing grass skirts and colorful attires while doing graceful hand movements and swaying the hips. It is how the local Hawaiians express their joy and happiness. Traditionally, hula is accompanied by storytelling and a rhythmic playing of percussion instruments. Several performances of hula are done in ceremonies or religious affairs.
A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast that features vibrant performances and enticing music that are all distinct from Hawaii. Aside from entertainment, participants of the luau can also try out different dishes which are typically prepared during the feast. These include poi, a taro plant root; laulau, a meat wrapped in luau leaves and steamed; and haupia, or coconut pudding.
One of the significant aspects of Hawaiian culture is their music. The music of Hawaii has evolved from simple and traditional drumbeats to a chorus of voices. Popular music genres which are prominent in Hawaii include kolohe, or a type of hula known for being naughty; hapa-haole, or a type of music that combines English lyrics with Hawaiian melodies; and chalangalang.
- The flower lei
The placing of the flower lei is another prominent Hawaiian custom that is offered graciously with a kiss. Lei is a wreath of flowers that are given to a person upon arriving in Hawaii as a symbol of affection. The wreath can be given for various reasons. However, the lei is being given as a symbol of honor, friendship, or love, among others.
- Hawaiian clothing
Traditionally, Hawaiians have often worn grass skirts and loincloths. These garments have been influential in the clothing of today's generation including t-shirts and board shorts. The Kapa, in particular, is a traditional durable bark cloth that is used for making malo. It is made by gently pounding the bark from a variety of trees including Hau and Akala.
- Hawaiian legends
Like any other nation, Hawaii has its own share of legends and mysteries that may have been widely recognized for being culturally coherent. The Hawaiian culture is filled with lots of superstitions and omens. For example, rainbows are considered as blessings from the gods. On the other hand, bringing bananas on a boat is considered is considered as banned material.
Truly, Hawaiian culture is very vibrant and distinct. No other place in the world offers such unique cultural practices and traditions than in Hawaii. So come and visit Hawaii!