Talk:Customs and etiquette in Hawaii

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Hawaii (Rated List-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Hawaii, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Hawaii on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 List  This article has been rated as List-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article lacks sufficient references and/or adequate inline citations.

I removed the bit about flower motifs in corporate logos and advertising. That's a FACT, but it's not a custom. Surely there's someplace else for that fact? Zora 07:44, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Before yall start lashing out against me, let me say that I am only DIRECTLY quoting Zora. She does not believe in such things as "Hawaiian culture" or "Korean Culture", both mentioned on this page. And since she does not recognize any such thing as Persian culture or Indian Culture, then I think consistency should be practiced here, and I think it's not a bad idea to paste the POV tag on all pages listed under here as well. And especially here. But then again, I dont want to start fights. Theyre very unproductive. Yet I know Zora will persist in attacking the very phrase "Persian culture" to promote her hatred against people she does not like. Peace to you all.--Zereshk 06:26, 4 November 2005 (UTC)


This is an odd list and needs work. Almost every item listed here as "offensive" is subject to vigorous debate among the residents of Hawai'i. Not to take the side of the haole, but "don't be offended if someone calls you a haole?" Even though Portuegese people SHOULD be offended? Because haoles don't have local values? I ain't no haole, but come on...that reads as a pretty strong bias against haoles, as does the entire "visitors from the Mainland" section. What, visitors from England stay different?

In addition, it feels more like a list of political prescriptions than a list of local customs and etiquette.

My sense is that someone wrote this off the cuff. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:00, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Is it really necessary to point out that one should not litter, ask if American money is accepted, or assume that everyone wears grass skirts and lives in huts ? Come on, who is this aimed at ?? (talk) 03:24, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

I also agree very narrow, working on a research project and I'm astounded that not a single thing is cited here. Also, some things strike me as very broad - Taking off your shoes inside happens in many cultures, is this really Hawaiian etiquette vs just etiquette? Are gratuities a part of Hawaiian customs and etiquette? or just part of American culture and etiquette? This article seems to be written from the viewpoint of someone who wants to educate visitors about good manners when they visit Hawaii. Kactapuss (talk) 21:57, 27 March 2017 (UTC)

Malama 'aina[edit]

Anon, it's not really a good idea to assert as custom that which you wish to be custom. People talk about malama 'aina, but do they do it? I don't think so. There's too much dumping, abandoned cars, garbage on roads, etc. for this to be true. Right out in front of my condo is a little patch of grass under a tree, between the sidewalk and the street. Or it used to be grass, before the neighborhood decided that this was a dump site. Now I can't turn into my driveway without seeing abandoned refrigerators, mattresses, furniture. There is too much to fit on the dirt patch that used to be grass, so they dump it on the sidewalk too. If it's removed, people just think that it means that any garbage they put there WILL be removed -- so they dump more.

Rather than revert you, I hope that you'll remove your public-spirited but inaccurate contribution yourself. Zora 07:18, 3 December 2006 (UTC) (grumpy Makiki resident)

Anon, please don't add dubious material[edit]

Anon, you're adding stuff that is dubious or just plain wrong. The bit re lava rock is a modern attempt by Big Island park rangers to get people to stop taking rocks; there is no Native Hawaiian belief that taking rocks is wrong. Native Hawaiians used them, to make axes and such. Pork over the Pali -- that's a superstition held by some people, but it's not universal and it's not a custom. Not put your back to the sea? I've never HEARD that and I've lived here thirty years. Never seen anyone observe it, either.

I also removed the bit re malama 'aina, since you didn't.

The problem is that this article doesn't cite any references, which is a no-no by Wikipedia standards. We aren't supposed to state personal beliefs as facts; we're supposed to document them. This article has puttered along for years without being criticized for being personal opinion, or original research, because contributors managed to stick with things that were so generally believed, or observed, that no one complained. Now you are adding stuff that really is dubious.

I'm grotesquely over-committed on many fronts, but I'll see if I can find some written references on island customs. Clearly they're needed. Zora 19:58, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Trying to Make a Good Faith Effort Here[edit]

I'm new to Wikipedia and on chance stumbled across this section and thought it was incomplete. I have made a good faith effort to add elements that I truly believe are beliefs and customs in Hawaii. For example, I added a point about the importance of caring for and respecting the land and ocean, but this was deemed "dubious" and promptly deleted, as noted above. While it is true that this is a belief of mine, I know it is a belief held by many in Hawaii. The protection of the environment, while violated by some, partially underlies the reason why there are no billboards allowed on the island. I added a point about how much value native Hawaiian speakers place on their language and how it is not proper etiquette to misuse the language, but this too was deleted as "dubious." But from my experience, which is significant, it is rude to say things like "Hey look, I got lei'd last night." I also added a point and know it is a belief (obviously not known or practiced by all) to not turn your back to the ocean. There was a controversy when the Duke Kahanamoku statue was placed at Kuhio Beach for this very reason. My intent here is not to get into an argument with anyone, but simply to highlight what I saw as missing points. There is more complexity to the culture here than simply wearing a lei or going to baby luaus. Maybe this isn't the right section for me because I'm really interested in the core beliefs behind the behaviors. I agree that it might be better to start referencing these items, so there is less controversy over what is and what is not a custom or practice. Otherwise, you simply have one person disagreeing with another and that's not where I wanted to go with this. Karma17 06:34, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Oh, fantastic, you've taken a username! We're talking! I haven't scared you off!
I knew it was a good faith effort but ... I think customs are defined as behaviors that are close to universally observed. Everyone else will look stink at you if you break them. A lot of the things you were adding were things that I believe too, but I'm all too aware that public pious sentiments don't translate into what people actually do. Wearing your shoes in the house is different. That's the sort of thing that really really upsets people. It's like spitting into the soup.
Doesn't it seem to you that the universal customs are the ones that are easy to keep? There's an entirely different category of things that you believe you ought to do, but don't, because they're difficult. Shoes, eays, saving for your old age, hard. Buying leis, easy, meticulously recycling all your litter and garbage, hard. People throw junk because they don't want to spend the effort (or sometimes the money) to do it right. Then they'll say that they believe in malama 'aina. I
I'm glad that you agree that we could solve problems with citations. I'm not quite sure where to start, but let's see if we can get cites for everything that's there now -- that will probably lead us to other stuff that we can cite.
Oh, and as to misusing the language -- "I got lei'd" is vulgar. But my kumu 'olelo Hawai'i is happy to use pidgin and all-mix-up Hawaiian. He'll use words like "hulimakaflip." People have been misusing Hawaiian for 200 years, which is why we have pidgin. It's important to know what is correct Hawaiian and what is pidgin, but that doesn't mean you can't be creative. Zora 07:06, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

That's a very interesting point about easiness. If that's one of the conditions, then I can see more of where you are coming from. And I agree that talk is cheap. Maybe one day the harder beliefs will become more universal. Perhaps through education? I know Hawaii is a diverse place and more people are moving here every day. One of the reasons I moved here was to get away from the mainland mentality, so I hate to see Hawaii lose what makes it a special place. Remember I'm new here, so I'm not sure where to start. Should I let you know what references I find and talk about them here before posting? Let me know. Karma17 08:58, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Billboards were not banned because they were bad for the environment, they (along with all other forms of major public advertising) were banned because they were deemed to be unsightly and detracting from the natural (or artificial) view of the area. In a state that relies so heavily on tourism, unobstructed views are critical, and the law also bans smaller advertisements like signs posted by the road. It has no environmental basis aside from view, since mounting a billboard on the side of a preexisting building doesn't have any environmental impact.
    The issue here (like in so many other articles) is sifting out that which can be cited and that which is purely original research based on the editor's experience. I would recommend taking a trip to the library (they're there for a reason aside from renewing your passport!) and finding books on Hawaiian culture that can be used as references. I would consider doing it myself but I'm unfortunately away at the moment. Citations on Wikipedia are not "nice-to-haves" or a matter of convenience, but are necessities. AfD's have been won and lost based on the available citations, and you would need a lot of them to establish the notability needed to keep this article. the_one092001 (talk) 21:06, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

This page is full of biased language and needs to be corrected.[edit]

The section about "haole" needs to be corrected and said in a more politically correct way. The entire section sounds as if to chastise people who are "white" (European descent) when they are the ones being called "haole". As with anything, and depending on the context, "haole" is also used as a pejorative and can be racist as well. (e.g., "beat up a haole day"). So to tell "white" people not to be offended in this manner is actually rude. The better thing to do is to explain the history of the term "haole" and then describe a proper and friendly context for the term. The part about "stupid haole" etc. comes off as amateur and unfriendly. Whoever created that section obviously has a political axe to grind and it does not serve the purpose of the wiki page; to inform people of customs, especially visitors.

I made my edits in good faith and as Hawaiian I embarrassed by some of the language and tone of this page.