Dating hawaiian culture
When we imagine life in Hawaii to be drastically different from our “real lives,” Hawaii becomes something exotic. Your contribution to this billion industry also helps create homelessness by driving up the price of real estate (which Native Hawaiians just call “land”) and perpetuates cultural myths about Native Hawaiians.
It becomes a fantasy for busy people and honeymooners to visit rather than a place of residence. Native Hawaiians are an indigenous group of people struggling to survive on 3% of the land. On your next trip, spend time in Waikiki and spend your money there, but you should also venture out and drive through Waianae.
By the 1930s, Hawaii’s population was about 40% Japanese, about 20% Chinese, and only about 25% pure or part Hawaiian.
And then the media swooped in and pretty much established our current ideas about Hawaii.
And specifically, how did we come to conflate Asian culture with Native Hawaiian culture?
Back in the late 18 centuries, the United States began trading heavily with China and other parts of Asia.
Already a dwindled population, Native Hawaiians gradually lost more and more control over their lands (to businessmen, missionaries, and the US military, among other stakeholders) until 1893 when the Hawaiian Kingdom was overthrown. To live in the Hawaiian homesteads, Native Hawaiians need to apply and prove their Native-Hawaiian-ness.When I tell people that I used to live and teach in Hawaii, I always need to brace myself for the responses.