Five Little Notes about Hawaiian Aloha


1. Hawaiians have good manners that go beyond not beeping your car horn in traffic, or letting other cars in, even if it slows down traffic as a whole. (If you do this, expect to get a Shaka, as a thank you.) Good traffic manners matter here. It is not uncommon to see bumper stickers that say, “Slow down, this ain’t the mainland.” Yes, let’s not rush our way through life, in exchange for rudeness. How we treat one another truly matters.

2. Grocery store politeness matters too. First off, Hawaiians don’t rush around the store with their hair on fire, nearly running over everyone. It’s not unusual to see someone with a small grocery load, let someone with a large grocery load go ahead of them. I know, weird, right? But, I’ve seen this any number of times, if the person who is behind looks stressed, or in a hurry, it happens. In Hawaii, this kind of patience marks you as a local for sure.

3. Respect for hard work. In many ways, this is non-elitist culture. All work, no matter how dirty, or menial is respected. Due to the high cost of living, people have to work hard to make ends meet.. There is a sincerity here about work and a kindness while you are doing it.

4. People share what they have here, whether it’s a bumper crop of fruit, or a bicycle left in the front yard. I remember when we were putting in our pool, on one particularly hot day, one of the guys borrowed a pair of slippers (flip flops) left outside. They were bright pink, by the way, which made me laugh. Nothing was said about this and the slippers were left where they were found at the day’s end.

5. The little gesture is definitely an art form here.  Whether it is taking an item to the dry cleaner and having them sew a button on for free, or the discounts that kamaaina receive, the art of the little gesture pervade Hawaiian life.  In a world where all too often the little kindnesses of past times have disappeared, it is comforting to live in a place with so much Aloha.


Mrs. Sassy Pants

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