Welcome to Hawaii and the island of Oahu. Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States in 1959. The state is a unique melting pot of over one million people representing a variety of ethnic backgrounds all molding together to create a special local culture. The island of Oahu is officially called the City and County of Honolulu and is the site of the state capital. Nicknamed “The Gathering Place”, Oahu may be the most isolated population center on the face of the earth but it has all the comforts of any mainland (continental U.S.) metropolitan city. Make sure you check out our shopping centers, great restaurants, local celebrations, and transition yourself into the laid back Hawaiian lifestyle.
Hawaii’s average yearly temperature is between 75-85 degrees. These mild temperatures are a result of the state being located in the Tropics just 1,400 miles north of the equator. Humidity is pretty low averaging around 53% year round but when it does get hot we usually have the trade winds from the northeast to cool us off. It can get cold in the winter so make sure you have a jacket handy when temperatures drop into the 60’s, brrrrrr. Snow even falls on the island of Hawaii (the Big Island) atop the peaks of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa, which are 13,000 feet above sea level.
Hawaii’s culture and customs are formed by its history and the many diverse Polynesian and Asian people that make up its population. Here are some local customs that you want to become familiar with.
- Always remove your footwear (shoes, sneakers, slippers) before entering someone’s house.
- If you get invited to a party, dinner or picnic it is customary to ask the host if you can bring anything since most gathering here are potlucks (everyone contributes to the meal). Even if the host says no, it’s always polite to bring some form of food or drink along with you.
- In Hawaii we love to celebrate. Some local holidays and celebrations that are unique to Hawaii are New Years Eve (lots of fireworks), Chinese New Year’s, May Day, Kamehameha Day, Prince Kuhio Day, Boys Day/Girls Day, baby’s first birthday, and high school graduations.
Many of the local place names, descriptions and terms are based on the ancient Hawaiian Language. There are just 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet A, E, I, O, U, H, K, L, M, N, P, and W. At first the language may be difficult to pronounce but once you get the hang of it you will sound just like a local.
Here are a few words that will get you started:
Ohana (o-ha-na) means family
Hale (hall-lay) means house
Keiki (k-key) means child
Akamai (a-ka-my) means smart, wise
Kane (ka-nay) means man
Mele (may-lay) means song
Wahine (wa-he-nay) means woman
Mauka (mau-ka) means mountains
Aloha (a-low-ha) means hello, good-bye, love
Kumu (coo-moo) means teacher
Mahalo (ma-hall-o) means thank you
Ono (o-no) means tasty
Pau (pow) means finished/done
Puka (poo-ka) means hole
Pidgin is a local language based on English and used by most local residents in everyday conversation.
Here are a few examples you will need to know:
Pupus (poo-poos) means appetizer
Howzit (how-zit) means what’s up?
Brah (bra) a male greeting such as Howzit Brah?
Choke (choke) means numerous or lots
Da Kine (da-kind) means just about anything
Bumbai (bum-bye) means at a later time