Turns out that people are visiting Hawaii. This is not exactly news since people have been visiting Hawaii for years. But all of a sudden People We Are Related To are visiting (without taking me, I should point out) and it seemed like a good time to learn about our 50th state.
There will be a test. (There will not be a trip, but it is possible someone may send you a postcard.)
Hawaii means ‘place of the gods’ or ‘homeland.’ The state nickname is the ‘Aloha State’ (Aloha is one of the most used words in Hawaiian Language). Aloha is used as both ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye.’ Quick—name another language in which the same word is used for both hello and goodbye.
There are only 13 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet and every word—and syllable—ends with a vowel. It’s not clear how many times you have to sing the Hawaiian alphabet song while you wash your hands.
I assume you know what a lei is (no college humor jokes, please). It’s a symbol of affection, but it comes with Rules. Of the Serious variety.
You must never refuse a lei or remove it in front of the person who gave it to you. You must never wear a lei you intend to give to someone else (it’s just rude).
A lei should not be thrown away. It should be returned to the earth (ideally to where the flowers were gathered).
Never, ever give a tied lei to a pregnant woman—it’s very bad luck.
Speaking of rules, billboards are illegal in Hawaii. Snakes are outlawed (except in zoos). And no buildings on Kauai can be taller than a palm tree.
If you’re in Hawaii, you’re a minority. Or there are no minorities depending on how you look at these things. It would take far more work that I plan to put in to figure out which numbers are correct (My Friend the Internet is supplying lots of inconsistent data on this topic), but diversity runs by itself there. You may create a Pie Chart on your own time if you like.
Obviously, diversity is a good thing since Hawaii has the highest life expectancy in the US. Although that may be because they eat more Spam per capita than anywhere else in the country. Or possibly it has something to do with the fact that Hawaiians are all living in paradise and they want to stick around to enjoy it.
Tune in (probably tomorrow) for Part Next of Hawaii.