Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Hawai'i (to spell it correctly)

Now I have spent a bit of time in Hawai'i, I thought it might be good to put something up about the place rather than just whinge about jet-leg (although am now over that, thanks for asking).

Am enjoying it more than I thought I would actually. It's like the USA, but diluted, and is far more international than I thought it would be. For a start the Japanese influence is strong. Apparently loads of Japanese workers were brought over on the cheap in the 1930s to work on some of the sugar cane farms, and many of them stayed. Now Hawaii's really popular with Japanese tourists because the language is readily spoken. There's at least as many Japanese tourists as American.

Also I never realised that Hawaii had such a strong British background - the Union Jack is actually on the state flag (although it was referred to as the English flag in one place I went to!). Back in the 1800s we were the Hawaiian best friends and they flew our flag to try and warn off invaders from France, Holland, Japan, etc. It was only at the end of the 19th century that the USA bullied their way in and colonized the islands.

Finally, you do get a feel for the native Hawaiian traditions, even if it is only the tourist version. The music is everywhere (hard to describe, but it reminded me of bluegrass), the language is trying to be protected and promoted, and there are statues of the old royal family all over the island. Having said that the only poor part of the Island I've seen is the one which is dominated by native Hawaiians and/or other Polynesians. And even though the election campaigns are up and running, I've not seen any discussion of the native Hawaiian vote in any of the coverage I've seen.


At 11:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet you've been in a grass skirt.


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