Eh, howzit?

Posted: February 8, 2010 in Life

My sister and I are what’s called ‘hapa haole,’ which is Hawai’ian for half white, half foreign, etc.  We get our Hawai’ian/Portuguese side from our mother who is fully Portuguese, though her family has been in Hawai’i for generations.  Our father is a European mutt(something he’s said himself), a nice mix of German, English, Irish, Scottish, Swedish, and who knows what else.  I have my father’s skin tone and my mother’s shape, while my sisters have my mother’s skin tone and my father’s shape(in female form).  We really don’t look Portuguese in any way but we are proud of our ‘unique’ heritage….and by unique I mean in the fact that in Northern Illinois, there are next to no Hawai’ians here.

We moved from Hawai’i to California(my parents were in the Air Force) when I was roughly 5.  I really don’t remember anything about Hawai’i from my childhood, except for playing with big plastic golf clubs in the center of our housing area.  Around 7 years ago my parents, younger sister, my sister’s friend, and I went to Hawai’i for vacation.  We stayed with my Auntie and my sister and I finally got to see the Big Island and everything that my mother grew up with.  Honestly, if anyone ever visits the Aloha State stay away from Honolulu and Waikiki; tourist Hawai’i has nothing on the real thing.  Seriously, go to the other islands and see what it’s like.  The food, the language, and the world is wonderful!

What spurred this little romp down memory lane is something odd.  My elder sister and I had gone to Best Buy so she could pick up a copy of Zombieland for her husband.  While looking around in the Blu Ray section we heard something oddly familiar: Hawai’ian Pidgin English, and the Pidgin accent.  We both kept searching for the movie and eavesdropped on the neighboring conversation; they were talking about Hawai’ian dishes.  My sister and I confirmed with each other that we were hearing right and after the two Hawai’ians and the Haole started talking about LauLau my sister had to make a comment…and then we were in an hour long conversation about Hawai’ia, it’s food, and family.  We aren’t related to the Hawai’ian duo that was there but an odd familial aura seems to come to life when ever I meet Hawai’ians so far from the Islands.

We never found the movie we were looking for but we ended up exchanging numbers with the Hawai’ian woman.  She’s planning on trying to find the scant few other Hawai’ians in the area and do a potluck so we all can meet.  I know my sister and I are more than happy to show up, and we both think my mother would be thrilled to meet others and have a taste of some Hawai’ian food and sweet Hawai’ian music.

  1. Kymlee says:


    Sorry, I saw your blog from the forums and decided to check it out.
    I’m Hawaiian too. My Gram (Leilani) met my Gramp (last name Murphy) when he was in the navy, he’s from New Hampshire.. SO she moved all the way over here on the east coast and raised a family.
    I moved to Kaua’i in Jan 08 till Sept-08 and then came back this way. I miss it like crazy. I got my 2 cuz that live there and Auntie.
    I picked up on the pidgin pretty fast there, so I came back here and people are like wtf are you talking about hahaha. I finally lost the lingo and stuff, obviously, but I hear people talk about it an in my head I’m going “howzit sista!”

    I dunno what it is about people from the islands but you are so right. its that sense of familiarity and family.

    I wrote a whole article about Kaua’i if u wanna look at it.

    alright, pau


    Aloha girl, good blog!


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