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Published On: Fri, Nov 9th, 2018

5 Things to Know Before Traveling to Hawaii

If you’re gearing up for your Hawaiian vacation, you’ve probably already booked your airfare, found your hotel room, and scheduled some cool events. But what you don’t know about Hawaii could surprise you. Why should you brush up on your Hawaiian trivia? Well, for one thing, it might open the door to some new discoveries and make for better communication with the people who live there.

Public domain image/Perry-Castañeda Library

Hawaiian weddings have their own etiquette

If you’re attending a wedding in Hawaii, particularly if it involves a native, you’ll find the etiquette for these events is a little different. For example, instead of a veil, it’s customary for the brides to wear flowers in her hair. The bride and groom also exchange leis during the ceremony as a symbol of an unbroken circle of love. Instead of traditional wedding dresses, most brides wear loose-fitting, casual white dresses and their feet are bare. In keeping with the theme, wedding guest dresses are also expected to be more casual beach attire and bare feet.

Most people who live in Hawaii are not Hawaiian

Hawaii is known for its diversity and Native Hawaiians make up only 6 percent of it. 21 percent of that group are only part Hawaiian. Try to refrain from calling someone a “Hawaiian” unless you know their heritage. Chances are they are not. The largest population group on the island today is actually Asian, which includes Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and Thai. If you must refer to people who live in Hawaii in a particular way, try using the term “locals.”  It’s much more respectful if you don’t assume someone’s ethnicity.

Men hula too!

You can’t visit the state without finding out where the best luaus in Maui are. And at almost every luau, you’ll get to witness a hula. It’s true that most of the hulas look a lot like what you see on TV, with beautiful women in grass skirts. But traditionally, men were the first to dance the hula with just as much talent and focus. And it’s not uncommon to find men who still perform in them today. Their dances, however, might include more chanting and percussion. There’s even a hula school on the big island called Ke Kai O Kahiki, where they instill into their students the history of the male hula dancers who became warriors.

You can snow ski in Hawaii

It may be hard to believe, but you actually can skip the beach and hit the slopes on Mauna Kea (White Mountain) at certain times of the year. Mauna Kea is a volcanic mountain that sometimes gets enough snow to either ski or snowboard down. In the winter, the temperatures on the mountain can even get as low as 20℉. It’s important to note, however, that it’s not for the faint of heart. There are no ski lifts or special accommodations. You will need your own four-wheel drive vehicle to get up the road. And once you’re there, you’ll find rugged terrain and wilderness conditions. Ski at your own risk!

Kapu means “keep out”

If you’re hiking along without a local to show you the ropes, you might be confused by signs you will see around the island with the word “Kapu” on them. Sometimes they may even have English wording for tourists that will read “no trespassing” or “keep out.” For the most part today, Kapu is used pretty loosely as a term to keep people away, but originally, the word had a more sacred meaning to the natives that carried severe consequences. While Kapu today is not necessarily state law, some natives still take it very seriously, and it’s best not to tread on their marked ground.

About the Author:

Rupesh Singh is freelance writer and founder of moneyoutline.com You can follow him on Google + & Facebook.

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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