Oahu Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by cjg1
  • Local Customs
    by cjg1
  • Local Customs
    by cjg1

Oahu Local Customs

  • Different Cultures in Hawaii

    Honolulu Local Customs

    hawaii truly is a melting pot of cultures! why? since hawaii is the ONLY minority-majority State in the United States where asian-americans, pacific islanders are the majority over caucasians and african americans and latinos. that is why you see a very small chinatown in honolulu and that you will see assorted asian, pacific islander, mainstream...

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  • Ceremonies

    Waikiki Local Customs

    7 Feb 04 2045 Tonight we went to dinner and met this crazy middle-aged woman who was born in Australia, but raised in the US. I was given a lai (spelling??) by a big Hawaiian waitress. For good luck I had to give it away, but unfortunately I picked someone who didn't speak English (Easy to do in Waikiki due to the huge amounts of Japanese...

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  • Hawaiian Traditions

    Oahu Local Customs

    I love that there are free local guides and maps available on the street, in hotels at the airport and cruise ports. These are little gems of information of the area and the local happenings. There are also some great coupons and savings in many of the guides. Definitely pick them up where available; you never know what you might find useful.

    more
  • Talking Hawaiian

    Honolulu Local Customs

    Ok so this tip isn't exactly about how to speak "Hawaiian" itself, but more like what to expect when hearing locals talk. I myself DON'T speak "pidgin", but i know enough words to be able to understand what people are saying! :P My definitions should be pretty accurate, and I'll try to give some of the best examples I can! Some common...

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  • Music

    Waikiki Local Customs

    This was a concert of a Hawaiin band outside the zoo at the park. It was a great band and great time partying with the locals. Mahalo.. The banner says "THE WILDEST SHOW IN TOWN" sponsored by AT & T.

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  • Hawaiian Superstations

    Oahu Local Customs

    The Kukui nut lei is made from the Kukui Nut Tree.The Kukui Nut Tree is also known as the Candlenut Tree and in ancient Hawai’i the nuts were burned to provide light and the oil also has many cooking and medicinal uses. The nuts are used also in necklaces (leis) and bracelets. The colors of the nuts can be black, brown or white and often painted...

    more
  • Leaving shoes at the Door

    Honolulu Local Customs

    People in Hawaii have adopted the Japanese custom of taking off your shoes at the door of a house. It makes sense when you think about what you've been walking through (ewww), and you'll feel more comfortable without shoes, anyway. It is considered VERY gauche to enter someone's home with your shoes on. The line-up of shoes outside the door will...

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  • Hawaiian History

    Oahu Local Customs

    Throughout Oahu and many of the other islands you'll get a glimpse of a "canoe" or "kayak" that will have an outrigger. An outrigger is a rigging that is placed in a fixed position outside of the main hull. The more common outriggers in Oahu are the flat hollow floats that stabilize the canoes and kayaks. The outrigger floats form a narrow second...

    more
  • Lei & Hula greeters

    Honolulu Local Customs

    Getting off the plane at Honolulu Airport all of us got a lei . We were told our silk leis will be a happy reminder of the Hawaiian vacation and the wonderful Island spirit of Aloha! The silk flowers are suitable also for people who might be allergic to flowers.

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  • Hawaiian Hula/Luaus

    Oahu Local Customs

    When in Hawaii, definitely try a Lava Flow. The Lava Flow is a delicious drink made from Rum, pureed strawberries, coconut cream and coconut milk. It basically tastes like a Strawberry Pina Coladad but better. My wife loves these Lava Flows and has to have them whenever we are in Hawaii. Her favorite place for a Lava Flow is the Plantation Bar at...

    more
  • Hawaiian Treats/Candy

    Oahu Local Customs

    My wife and I love our syrup on Pancakes, French Toast and waffles; usually maple syrup. Our last trip to Hawaii we branched out and tried some tasty Coconut and Guava syrup; which surprisingly we both like immensely. We found some of these syrups in a local store and bought a few bottles to take home

    more
  • Hawaiian Language

    Oahu Local Customs

    There is an actual law that was passed by the Hawaii Legislation in 1986 that states each citizen is obliged to conduct themselves with the Spirit of Aloha while at work and at home. I know we were paying tourists but everywhere we went the people were warm and welcoming. No where on the islands did we ever encounter rude or threatening behavior. I...

    more
  • Travel Tips

    Oahu Local Customs

    Hawaii does not observe daylight savings time that occurs in most of the states of the US. WHen Daylight savings time occurs HAwaii is not affected. Hawaii is 3 hours behind the West Coast of the US during daylight savings time so adjust accordingly. I almost forgot this small detail on my last trip to the islands.

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  • Torch Lighting Duty

    Oahu Local Customs

    The free visitor guide and coupons are an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the area as well as plan a particular event. Many of the guides have discounted coupons which can be very valuable on things like meals and activities. It's easy to find these guides. When you're arriving at the airport you'll see racks and racks of these guides...

    more
  • Hawaiian Flowers/Trees/Wildlife

    Oahu Local Customs

    These trees can be seen all over the island, what’s unique about them it’s their hanging branches that put roots once reached the ground. Some trees are very old and occupy quite some big, for a tree, territories. Birds seem to like its fruit and therefore hide inside the tree, although making lots of noise. Here’s one invaluable tip: avoid...

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  • Food of all Races

    Oahu Local Customs

    The plate lunch is a popular meal which is usually quite cheap. It typically comprises of two scoops of rice, macaroni and a choice of meat which varies from pork, teriyaki beef and different variations of chicken. There are a variety of dishes which are now called "plate lunches", so it varies on where you eat. Some places to enjoy an...

    more
  • Weddings

    Oahu Local Customs

    If you ever have the luck of being invited to a Hawaiian wedding - GO FOR IT! One of the most beautiful experiences we have ever had was attending our cousin's wedding at the beach in Oahu. Clear blue skies and water mixed with soft sand between our toes, and an overall atmosphere of peaceful calm. Then the bride's arrival was announced via the...

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  • Attire

    Oahu Local Customs

    Hawaii is one of the most casual places in the United States and for almost all dress-up occassions, aloha attire is acceptable -- even de riguer. This includes weddings, business meetings, fancy dinners out, etc. Often for formal affairs, the invitation will call for "crisp aloha" which means dressy pants (rather than just dockers) and a tucked-in...

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  • Museums/Art

    Oahu Local Customs

    Another thing I learned while touring the Bishop Museum. The tiny Hawaiian guitar that can be purchased in almost every souvenir shop is called “Ukulele”. This isn’t its original name and Hawaii it’s not its home either. Ukulele came to Hawaiian Islands with first Portuguese settlers and its original name is “braguinha”, now try to get a native...

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  • Street Preformers

    Oahu Local Customs

    The main drag along Waikiki Beach, Kalakaua Boulevard, is a common place to see performance artists hoping that their behavior will earn them some money. As Kalakaua is the most touristy street on Oahu, it's not surprising that mimes, balloon artists and other tricksters are drawn there. I once saw a guy dressed entuirely in newspaper -- I wonder...

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  • Hilton Hawaiian Village

    Oahu Local Customs

    The Blue Hawaiian is my favorite drink to have here while in Oahu. I enjoy the frozen Blue Hawaiian and will usually find my favorite at the Pikake Terrace at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. The Blue Hawaiian was actually invented here on the island of Oahu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in 1957 by Harry Yee a legendary head bartender at the...

    more
  • Shopping

    Oahu Local Customs

    As several beaches on Oahu are dog-friendly (especually Kailua Beach), more people are bring their dogs to enjoy the sand and surf. Yet, like humans, dogs eyes are sentive to the sun and if they get too much exposure they could end up with cataracts. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly common to see dogs with sunglasses. You can buy them in the...

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  • Lilikoi Syrup

    My wife and I love our syrup on Pancakes, French Toast and waffles; usually maple syrup. Our last trip to Hawaii we branched out and tried some tasty Coconut and Guava syrup; which surprisingly we both like immensely.We found some of these syrups in a local store and bought a few bottles to take home

    more
  • Coconut Syrup

    My wife and I love our syrup on Pancakes, French Toast and waffles; usually maple syrup. Our last trip to Hawaii we branched out and tried some tasty Coconut and Guava syrup; which surprisingly we both like immensely.We found some of these syrups in a local store and bought a few bottles to take home.

    more
  • POG Juice

    POG juice is something my wife loves to enjoy when we are in Hawaii and often recreates back at home to drink. POG is a tropical style juice drink created in 1971 by a food product consultant named Mary Soon who worked for Haleakala Dairy on Maui.Typically we have seen POG juice made with passionfruit, orange, and guava but have also experienced it...

    more
  • Plate Lunch

    The plate lunch is a popular meal which is usually quite cheap. It typically comprises of two scoops of rice, macaroni and a choice of meat which varies from pork, teriyaki beef and different variations of chicken. There are a variety of dishes which are now called "plate lunches", so it varies on where you eat. Some places to enjoy an inexpensive...

    more
  • Shave Ice

    Shave ice is a local staple in Hawaii and a must try, especially on a hot day. Ferni and I enjoyed a nice cool refreshing shave ice during one of our visits. Shave ice is chips of ice that are flavored with a variety of syrups in a paper cone. You can find shave ice in many places throughout O'ahu.

    more
  • Free Visitor Guides & Coupons

    The free visitor guide and coupons are an excellent way to familiarize yourself with the area as well as plan a particular event. Many of the guides have discounted coupons which can be very valuable on things like meals and activities. It's easy to find these guides. When you're arriving at the airport you'll see racks and racks of these guides...

    more
  • Hawaiian Sea Salt

    My wife loves to cook and bake with different types of salts. Hawaiian Sea Salt is a favorite of hers. Back home we usually order it online but here in Hawaii it is sold at many stores including ABC. The salt is an unrefined sea salt that has been mixed with a red alae volcanic clay. The sea salt was originally used by Hawaiians to cleanse, purify...

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  • Hawaii Regional Cuisine

    Hawaii Regional Cuisine is a culinary movement that blends the flavors of the Hawaiian islands with the cuisines of the world. In 1991, twelve chefs came together and created this food movement.The core of this movement is to take advantage of the fershest localally grown and produced ingedients on the islands: local cattles, fruits and vegetables...

    more
  • Free Local Guides and Maps

    I love that there are free local guides and maps available on the street, in hotels at the airport and cruise ports. These are little gems of information of the area and the local happenings. There are also some great coupons and savings in many of the guides. Definitely pick them up where available; you never know what you might find useful.

    more
  • Blue Hawaiian

    The Blue Hawaiian is my favorite drink to have here while in Oahu. I enjoy the frozen Blue Hawaiian and will usually find my favorite at the Pikake Terrace at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani. The Blue Hawaiian was actually invented here on the island of Oahu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in 1957 by Harry Yee a legendary head bartender at the hotel....

    more
  • Mai Tai

    It is said that the Mai Tai was invented in Oakland, California by Trader Vic, but Don the Beachcomber Vic's rival claims to have invented it in 1933. Either way this drink was made widely popular in the late 1950's and 1960's when tiki-themed restaurants and bars started serving them. The Mai Tai was also featured in one of Elvis Presley's movie,...

    more
  • Poi

    Poi is the Hawaiian word for a staple food made from the corm of the taro plant. It is considered to be a very important and sacred part of the Hawaiian life. It is said that "whenever a bowl of poi was uncovered at the family dinner table it was believed that the spirit of Hâloa, the ancestor of the Hawaiian people, was present." The Hawaiian...

    more
  • Outrigger

    Throughout Oahu and many of the other islands you'll get a glimpse of a "canoe" or "kayak" that will have an outrigger. An outrigger is a rigging that is placed in a fixed position outside of the main hull. The more common outriggers in Oahu are the flat hollow floats that stabilize the canoes and kayaks. The outrigger floats form a narrow second...

    more
  • Spam

    Spam was introduced to the Hawaiians during the US military occupancy of WWII. During the war meat was very difficult to transport without getting spoiled and Spam was an easy alternative for the soldiers as it was canned and lasted for months.Today, Spam is a big part of the Hawaiian culture and at times referred to as the "Hawaiian Steak". The...

    more
  • Ukulele

    The Ukulele is a small guitar like instrument that was first introduced to the Hawaiian islands by Portuguese immigrants in the late 19th century. The name Ukulele can loosely be translated as "jumping flea" as the Hawaiians described the player's fingers jumping quickly from string to string. Making a Ukulele is considered a respected art form and...

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  • Lei's

    Lei, the Hawaiian word for garland is an old tradition which was made more popular through tourism in the 19th and 20th century. The Lei is offered as a symbol of affection. For the residents of Hawaii, it is also used for special occasions like graduations, births, weddings, etc. There are many types of leis with many different materials used....

    more
  • Shave Ice

    Shave ice an ice-based dessert made by shaving a block of ice. Shave Ice is mostly credited as being "Hawaiian" but is actually Japanese in origin. It does look like a snow cone but the ice is shaved into a soft texture that resembles snow while a snow cone is crushed ice. This snowy texture is perfect for absorbing the flavored syrup, instead of...

    more
  • Kukui Necklaces

    The Kukui nut lei is made from the Kukui Nut Tree.The Kukui Nut Tree is also known as the Candlenut Tree and in ancient Hawai’i the nuts were burned to provide light and the oil also has many cooking and medicinal uses. The nuts are used also in necklaces (leis) and bracelets. The colors of the nuts can be black, brown or white and often painted...

    more
  • Try a Lava Flow

    When in Hawaii, definitely try a Lava Flow. The Lava Flow is a delicious drink made from Rum, pureed strawberries, coconut cream and coconut milk. It basically tastes like a Strawberry Pina Coladad but better. My wife loves these Lava Flows and has to have them whenever we are in Hawaii. Her favorite place for a Lava Flow is the Plantation Bar at...

    more
  • The Aloha Spirit Law [§5-7.5]

    There is an actual law that was passed by the Hawaii Legislation in 1986 that states each citizen is obliged to conduct themselves with the Spirit of Aloha while at work and at home. I know we were paying tourists but everywhere we went the people were warm and welcoming. No where on the islands did we ever encounter rude or threatening behavior. I...

    more
  • Hawaiian Phrases and Words

    When visiting the islands of Hawaii you hear several Hawaii words and phrases used in restaurants, shops and in every day life.Aloha is used as hello; good morning, good afternoon, good night and goodbye. When in doubt Just Say "Aloha!"Mahalo is for thank You. Make sure to say "Mahalo", everyone likes a well mannered traveller.The word "keiki" is...

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  • Island Time

    Most people who travel know the term "island time". Island Time is that relaxed and casual attitude that means don't rush...just go with the flow. Island Time is alive and well in Hawaii though not always in big tourist areas such as Waikiki and Honolulu. It takes some time to adjust from the rush and hustle of the Mainland but you will get...

    more
  • Try a Mai Tai

    The Mai Tai first came a popular cockatial in the 1950's and 1960's. The popular Elvis film Blue Hawaii featured this Tiki inspired drink. I am a big fan of Mai Tai's and love having them when visiting Hawaii. I've had them at almost every bar or restaurant I have visited and served in a variety of glasses from highball to interesting Tiki heads...

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Oahu Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Oahu local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Oahu sightseeing.
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