Joys and Woes of Polynesian Dads

  I think pretty much all dads are the same: tough on the outside but having soft spots inside. The way they show that soft spot is different for each dad. This Father’s Day I decided to focus mostly on Polynesian dads, because they are very much like other dads, except there are a few…

Memorial Day at Iosepa

If you ever thought about going to Iosepa for Memorial Day weekend, I would recommend it. To be completely honest, I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I did. My expectations were that the event would be too long, maybe fake, and that people would be closed off. However, I was proved wrong…

Endearing Things Polynesian Moms Do

It’s Mother’s Day, and that means we get to celebrate some of the world’s most special people: moms. I know we should celebrate them everyday because seriously, moms have THE hardest jobs. They have to possess the skills of caretakers, nurses, babysitters, nutritionists, and storytellers (to name a few). But at least we have a…

Why Celebrating May Day in Hawaii is the Best

In Hawaii, May day is not just another old holiday. It’s a big deal because it symbolizes different things for the various locals. We make and give leis on this day. We celebrate the symbolism behind lei giving, the beauty of leis, and the skill of lei-making. This is one of my favorite days of…

Leis to Make if You Live on the Mainland

It’s graduation time again! Remember when you graduated in Hawaii? The leis were piled so high that you practically suffocated through all the plastic, flowers, and leaves. Your hair got all tangled up in the leis, and plastic beach floaties ran from your waist down to your feet. Your arms probably felt like lead, weighed…

Why Merrie Monarch Gives Us All The Feels

At this time of the year, your Facebook feed might be exploding with videos and articles about the Merrie Monarch. Your friends from Hawaii are probably posting things like “So proud of…” and then some long Hawaiian name, like “Halau ka lei Mokihana o Leina’ale” for example.* Or they might be making 4-5 worded comments…

Interesting Things Local People Do (And Don’t Do)

Since my parents are Hawaii locals, and I grew up in a Hawaii-style home, it’s easy for me to say that taking my shoes off at the door was custom. It was just something we did. So, naturally, it always blew my mind when, as a little girl, I went with my family to people’s…

Things Hawaii Locals Say that Mainlanders Don’t Understand

Do you ever have that moment where, in a split second, you correct yourself and say “finish” instead of “pau?” I’m pretty sure most of us locals have had that happen. As Pidgin English is no longer a dialect, I guess you could say Hawaii locals are bilingual. And, as such, sometimes it’s hard to…

Best local grinds to make if you don’t live in Hawaii anymore

–and consequently don’t have access to poke bowl There’s nothing worse than being away from the islands and craving local food. Whether you’re abroad or lost on the mainland, drooling over the thought of a poke bowl, poi, laulau, or even something as simple as saimin can definitely leave you feeling lonely and homesick. Island…

10 Questions Hawaii Locals Get Asked All the Time

As a local, whenever someone asks where you’re from, you usually experience two major emotions. On one hand you are proud of your heritage—you’re proud of your roots, your culture, and the islands you’re from. You take pride in the cultural talents you’ve developed and the relationships that you cherish back home. On the other…