Hawaiian Essentials

Hawaiian Essentials

Hawaiian culture is rich with beautiful traditions, and easy to celebrate.

Courtesy Hawaiian Visitors and Convention Bureau

Courtesy Hawaiian Visitors and Convention Bureau

LEI
• Made with flowers or leaves and worn around the neck or head.
• Other materials used are shells, seeds, nuts, feathers and sometimes bone.
• There is no gender specificity—men love flowers too!
• Not to be discarded in the trash, but returned to nature minus the string and ribbon.
• Pregnant women should wear an open lei, an ancient superstition still practiced today.
• Considered impolite and rude to refuse a lei.

HULA
• Anciently only practiced by men.
• Forbidden by the missionaries in the 1800s.
• Modern hula added string instruments – ukulele (Portuguese in origin), slack-key guitar, bass and steel guitar.
Hapa haole music is the blending of Hawaiian and English words with a Hawaiian melody.

LUAU
• Besides taking place in a backyard, beach or park, luau are also held for graduations and wedding receptions.
• Local families still celebrate baby luau when a child turns one. Ancient Hawaii had a high infant mortality rate, and if baby made it to one, it was cause for celebration.
• Commercial luau is what visitors know as a blend of Polynesian dances, Hawaiian games and crafts, cultural exhibits, as well as a buffet style feast and a mai tai.

 

After spending a decade in Los Angeles where she worked with top travel news journalists, produced and casted for such shows as The Biggest Loser, Endurance, Extreme Home Makeover and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Search, the travel industry never lost its luster. Lisabeth continues to appease her roving curiosity with travel writing and research as an Editor for Here and Beyond. And, by packing a bag once in a while, to anywhere.