Hawaii, like every place on earth, has its own unwritten rules that the local people adhere to, even if they sometimes don't know why. In addition to this, there are certain things that you, as a tourist or newly transplanted mainlander, should either avoid or throw yourself into wholeheartedly. Here are some examples:
Do say aloha. It is not corny. Just don't say it like the tour directors (ah-looo-HAH).
Don't try to speak pidgin to locals. You will look really haole.
Do let people in and out in traffic. This is a Big Island custom we really love.
Don't honk your horn unless you're in a marriage procession. You're not on West 57th. This is considered VERY rude.
Do take your shoes off when entering someone's home. A little custom started by our Japanese Hawaiians.
Don't walk up to a big local guy and ask him if he's a REAL Hawaiian. Enough said.
Do learn to like poi. Okay, try it anyway.
Don't point at a mongoose and say, "Oh, look, Marvin! A funny squirrel!"
Do wear aloha shirts.
Don't get a matching dress to wear with his shirt. You may as well tattoo "tourist" across your forehead.
Do enjoy our beautiful ocean. Just remember to NEVER turn your back on it.
Don't swim at sunset. This is euphemistically referred to as "feeding time".
Do show respect for Hawaiian culture and especially sacred sites.
Don't scream when you see a gecko.
Do hang some beads or a lei on the rear view mirror of your rent-a-car. This will help you find it when there are seven others just like it in the parking lot.
Don't sleep on deserted beaches. While our crime rate is really low, common sense should still be considered a carry-on.
Do slow down to Hawaiian speed. Life moves on Big Island, just very slowly. People also live longer here than in any other state. There may be a connection.
Don't stare at a Samoan. This will also add years to one's life.
Do try to remember that WE are not on vacation. We live here.
Don't tell us how it's done on the mainland.
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