Growing up in Hawaii comes with many cliches after one decides to move away. After moving to Portland, traveling through Europe, and then moving to Indy, I’ve gotten questions anywhere from “Did you live in a grass shack? Do you eat pineapple with everything?” to the ridiculousness of “Do you have running water?” There have been times where I got so fed up with these people (also known as, damn haoles (haole means foreigner/someone who is not from Hawaii, but is misused to represent white people as well), but there have also been times where I learned to just be patient with them and try to understand that they weren’t lucky enough to grow up in such an awesome place.
Thus, here are 8 ways to piss off someone from the beautiful Hawai’i nei:
1) Ask us if you need a passport to visit Hawai’i
Believe it or not, I’ve gotten this question quite a few times. Before you plan your trip to Hawai’i, please freshen up on your geography. We’ve been a state for quite some time now.
2) Tell us we pronounce things like “Hawai’i,” “Mahalo,” “Aloha,” etc. funny
We live here. “Hawai’i” is pronounced huh-vi-ee, because Ws are pronounced like the letter V. Also, vowels are pronounced as follows:
Also, there are 13 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet, counting the ‘okina symbol as a letter. The ‘okina is the apostrophe mark and is a glottal stop/break in the word, which is very fast. There is also the kahakō which is a stress mark that appears over vowels only and serves to make vowel sound a little longer. Mispronouncing the ‘okina or kahakō can cause change in how a word sounds and its meaning.
Therefore, you pronounce it funny.
Nothing upsets me more than seeing people trash our beautiful beaches, or anywhere for that matter (since, being an island, your trash will end up in our oceans). Live and learn malama da aina (take care of the land).
4) Assume that everyone from Hawai’i is actually Hawaiian
Hawai’i is home to thousands of ethnicities. So many times have I been referred to as the “Hawaiian girl,” when in fact I do not have Hawaiian blood. I’m Filipino, Japanese, Okinawan, Italian, French, and German. We learn to befriend people of every ethnicity and embrace the Hawaiian culture from elementary school, so that’s great, but you know what they say about those who assume.
5) Defining “cold”
If we say we are cold, we’re cold. We don’t care if it’s 65 degrees and you’re used to it being in the 20s, we don’t appreciate your constant back talk of, “Cold?! You don’t even know what cold is!” In Hawai’i, where the lowest temperature is in the low 60s, anything below 74 is considered cold, and that is ok.
6) Be a rude driver
Now, I know there are always exceptions to the rule, but in Hawai’i most of us tend to just tro’ da shaka – meaning letting someone into your lane, and usually honking only to say hello to someone you know on the road.
7) Assume we spend all of our time at the beach
We have jobs too. Just like any other place, people in Hawai’i need to make a living and usually work 8 hours per day, have to deal with the insane cost of living, and have to sit through hours upon hours of pau hana (time after work) traffic, which is, by the way, some of the worst traffic in the U.S.
And last, but not least, one of my favorites…
8) Ask us why we fly to the other islands when we can just … swim