Written by Trang D. Nguyen
On the last leg of our Hawaii travel series, we’re talking about local Hawaiian culture. When visiting Oahu, we always make it a point to visit the North Shore. The North Shore is famous for it’s amazing surfing, beautiful beaches, and strong local culture. In the previous Hawaiian travel post, we talk about the blending of cultures, especially Native, Asian, and American cultures. But on the North side of the island, you really see all the Asian and American influences stripped away, and you’re left with an amazingly strong and vivid Native Hawaiian culture.
In the small towns along the North Shore, you can find small houses-turned-restaurants that serve local fare, like lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaf), poi (smashed taro), and lomi lomi (salmon and tomato salad). These items are distinctly Hawaiian, devoid of the influences of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and even Portuguese immigrants, using all items grown and processed in Hawaii. Also along the North Shore, you’ll find a lot of signs that read “Keep The Country, Country”, which is a movement against the rampant development of Hawaiian lands for luxury resorts,
hotels, and condos. All of which, most locals are unable to afford. All that aside, the people of Hawaii are still able to embrace the Aloha spirit and share with visitors what makes Hawaii great. When visiting Hawaii, make sure you learn “Aloha” and “Mahalo”, because those small words really do show the people of Hawaii that, as a visitor, you are making an effort to respect their land, language, and culture.