The Culture of Hawaii

Now that I’ve been on the Big Island for the first two weeks, I realize that the culture of Hawaii encompasses many things. Initially, I thought that to be Hawaiian, meant to have been born on the island with some Hawaiian descent. Now I realize more and more how Hawaii is a microcosm of the macrocosm and the global whole. With the invasion of Captain Cook and colonialism, the face of Hawaiians have changed. They include people of Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and English descent (among many others.) So as I wander the island, I try to find the people, places and things like dance, music and nature which encompass what it means to be Hawaiian.

On my first night on the Big Island, I attended a Dia De Los Muertos festival. Typically reserved for Latin culture, it was celebrated by the East Hawaii Cultural Center as a way to honor all the diverse ethnic backgrounds of the peoples of Hawaii.










Before going to Hawaii, I followed a kumu, a hula teacher from Hilo named Pilialoha Christiansen. She gifted me a love of the beauty and heart of the dance, so my trip could not be complete without some hula shots…










And, of course, beach is a pre-requisite to any island life…









And lastly, I can’t resist showing just a touch of the power of nature and light:







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