A few interesting facts about Hawaii that may be new to you:
- The Hawaiian Islands are located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean and are the furthest islands from any land mass. The closest continental point to Hawaii is Alaska, which is about 3,200 kilometres to the northeast.
- Hawaii consists of 137 islands, of which only 8 are the main islands. The largest island is Hawaii (also called the Big Island) and the most famous island is Oahu, where the capital city Honolulu is located.
- Hawaii has its own unique Thai language called Hawaiian. Hawaiian is the official language in the state of Hawaii and there are efforts to preserve and promote its use.
- Hawaii has one of the most active volcanic fields in the world. Kilauea volcano on the Big Island is considered one of the most active volcanoes and it continues to spew lava and create new earth.
- Hawaii is known for its unique ecosystem and biodiversity. It is home to many rare plant and animal species that cannot be found anywhere else on Earth. More than 90% of the species in Hawaii are endemic.
- Hawaii is also famous for its beaches and surfing. The coastline of Hawaii stretches for more than 750 miles and offers a variety of beaches, from white sand to black volcanic sand.
- Hawaii was declared the 50th state of the United States of America on 21 August 1959. It was the first state to be added to the United States since Alaska.
Hawaiian culture and traditions
Hawaiian culture and traditions have a long and rich history that permeates all aspects of life on the islands. Here are some highlights of Hawaiian culture and traditions:
- Greeting and greeting gesture: In Hawaiian culture, the greeting and greeting gesture is very important. The greeting “Aloha” is used as a greeting and goodbye, and also denotes love, peace and compassion. The greeting gesture “Lei” is a gift of flowers which is offered on a meeting or special occasion.
- Hawaiian music and dance: Music and dance play an important role in Hawaiian culture. Hawaiian music is characterised by the sounds of ukuleles, steel guitar and percussion, and lyrics often talk about nature, love and life values. Hawaiian dance, known as hula, is an expressive and graceful dance that tells stories and conveys emotion.
- Hawaiian cuisine: Hawaiian cuisine is a unique blend of different cultural influences such as Polynesian, Asian and European. It is known for its fresh fruits, seafood, calorie-dense dishes and traditional dishes such as kalua pork, poke (fish salad), lau lau (baked pork knuckle in taro), and more.
- Kanaka Maoli (locals): Native Hawaiians, known as Kanaka Maoli or Hawaiian, have their own unique culture and language. They value connection with nature and respect for their ancestors.