Monday, September 22, 2008

On Being Hawaiian

According to Jon Osorio, being Hawaiian is ultimately about not wishing to be anything else. I do agree with this statement, but I would like to explore further. What do you say to a non-Hawaiian who has been born and raised in Hawaii, in the traditional old way (Kipahulu off the land), but is not Hawaiian by ethnicity? Am I then considered to be Hawaiian at heart? I mean I do not consider myself to be American in the way that I think even though I am white!

When I started school in Hana, I was the only haole in the class and it was very challenging to fit in and be happy because I was racially discriminated many times daily for years because of my skin color. As the years went on I made friends with all my classmates and became best friends with a girl from Keanae, after that nobody gave me a hard time and I was excepted as an equal. I had to pay my dues and earn the respect and prove myself. Most people that know me well know that I am extremely passionate about the plight of the Hawaiian people.

From my point of view, I do not feel like I am a "wanna be Hawaiian", I feel that I was raised here and understand the big picture of what took place in history; I feel for the Hawaiian people so much I cannot put it into words exactly. Of course when I was little I so wanted to be Hawaiian to fit in and be excepted, and I always wished that I had brown skin, even now because white skin sucks, burns and wrinkles ha ha ha...

I have learned and continue my quest of knowledge about Hawaii and this place because I feel that if you live here it is an obligation to learn about the host culture and respect and protect at the same time. Also I love and Cherish all things Hawaiian.

P.S. I am not sure about the sources and citation but I will definitely get clear on what you expect and do so from now on.
Mahalo Annjulie

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