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sugar cane fields
pidgin english
southern drawl
native tongues
slang words
melting pot
interesting fact
language barrier
Hawaii And Its Culture
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Hawaii truly has a multi-ethnic makeup. Historically, Hawaii's sugar and pineapple plantations had a lot to do with Hawaii becoming a true melting pot.

In the 1800s the plantation owners brought in workers from countries like the Philippines, Japan, China, and even far away lands like Portugal and Argentina.

When these workers came to Hawaii, of course they only knew their native tongues. They had to work side by side in the pineapple and sugar cane fields with people of different ethnicities, people they couldn't communicate with.

So to overcome this language barrier workers slowly started to learn and use words from the other languages. Slowly, over time a new language was born, called Pidgin English. Pidgin English, or Pidgin for short, is truly unique to Hawaii.

Pidgin English is a mixture of many languages, which make it very difficult for visitors to understand a local person. Most Hawaii-born people can switch from speaking Pidgin to speaking Standard English when the need arises.

For instance, in business or school setting most local people will use Standard English. But when they're among friends of relatives, they switch back to Pidgin. There are some people who are unable to make the switch. They can only speak Pidgin.

Just like on the mainland U.S.A. people from different regions speak with different accents. Like people in the South speak with a Southern drawl. Even with the Southern drawl you have your variations, depending on where you're from in the south. People from New York or Boston have their accents. Midwesterners have their accents.

Hawaii is no different. People who grew up in rural areas speak a Pidgin with a different variation from town folk. Even people on the outer islands like Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island speak their variation of Pidgin. What's most notable with the variations are the slangs. Slang words used in one area, aren't necessarily used in another part of Hawaii.

Another interesting fact about Hawaii's culture is the taking off of footwear before entering someone's home. This practice started with the asian cultures. It became the accepted practice of all ethnic groups. It doesn't matter if you're Caucasian, Hawaiian, African-American., or Martian. People in Hawaii take off their shoes before entering someone's home. It's a sign of respect to the person's home.

Yet another interesting part of Hawaii's culture is the "tolerance". Sure we have problems and prejudices, but "tolerance" is the key to the success we've had in blending the different cultures. We accept ethnic differences, not shun it, or hate it.

In fact, we make fun of each others ethnic differences. It's healthy, clean fun, not meant to hurt the other person's feelings, but rather to embrace their differences.

If more people around the world could learn to tolerate other people's difference, we would have less hatred and wars. People of the World, learn from the Hawaiian experience.

Like John Lennon sang in his hit song......"Give Peace a Chance".

Street Talk

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