Ever since I was a little boy and I saw the special three Brady Bunch episodes of them in Hawaii, it has always been a magical place to me. I still remember the cursed tiki, Vincent Price kidnapping the boys, and Alice in her hula skirt. Before we leave this planet, we should all have a sort of bucket list to check off as it pertains to Hawaiian traditions and different products, from surfing and hula dancing to drinking some Waiakea water and trying Spam. Below are a few of the musts for when you travel to Hawaii.
1. Surfing in Hawaii
Whether you are an avid surfer or not, being able to say that you hanged ten in Hawaii should impress your friends and family. Some of the best surfing spots are located on The Big Island (Hawaii), The Valley Isle (Maui), The Garden Isle (Kauai) and in The Gathering Place (Oahu). There are islanders there that would be more than happy to give you a few lessons for a price.
2. Drink Waiakea Water
Waiakea Water is bottled water that originates through rain and melted snow on the surface of the Mauna Loa volcano. This volcano is one of the purest places a person can find. The water then filters itself through thousands of feet of volcanic rock. The water ends up being rich in minerals, electrolytes, and has a high pH balance that leaves it with a bit of a sweet taste.
In Hawaiian, Waiakea means broad waters. It’s a perfect name for the Hawaii based bottled water company. And just like many Hawaiian businesses, Waiakea Water gives back to society by tackling the world’s problem of a lack of clean water. Teaming with their partner Pump Aid, Waiakea donates 650 liters of clean water to those in need for every liter of water sold.
3. Attend a Luau
A visit to Hawaii would be great, but experiencing a real live luau while you are there would be a memory to last a lifetime. A luau is a Hawaiian feast that features island music, culture performances, and a pig roast where the pig is baked underground. There are always a lot of girls doing the hula, men doing their fire dances, and tropical drinks that will leave you enjoying every moment.
4. Wear a Lei for a Day
A lei is given to people once they arrive in Hawaii. It is one of the most time-honored traditions for Hawaii. Receiving a necklace of flowers around your neck from a pretty woman once you touch ground is not a bad thing. It is an honorable greeting, and interesting enough, it is considered rude to remove the lei in front of anyone. It is something that should be done only when you are alone. Also, if you are giving the lei to someone, it is custom to give them a kiss on the cheek as well.
5. Purchase a Hawaiian Shirt
Everybody needs a Hawaiian shirt in their wardrobe. Some people love these shirts so much that they wear them every day. Interesting fact, the first Hawaiian Aloha shirt was made in the 1930s. Now for many that do not live close to Hawaii, wearing it represents a lifestyle and a vibe that they would like to keep close to their heart. Even if you buy one and you are not that fond of it, you can still break it out on special occasions, like a Jimmy Buffett concert.
6. Watch Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii Concert
If you are an Elvis Presley fan, then you probably have already seen this. If you are not an Elvis fan, then this might turn you into one. In 1973, Elvis performed a fundraising concert at the Honolulu International Center in Hawaii. He had just turned 38 the week before and was in great shape. It was the first live satellite concert of its kind. While some countries were able to see it immediately while it was live on January 14th, other countries across Asia and Europe had to wait until the next day. Ironically, the United States showed it three months later because the original date of the concert was the same day as the Super Bowl. About 1.5 billion people saw this concert that year. It cost $2.5 million in production costs. Amazingly, just a short four years later, Elvis Presley passed away.
7. Take a Hula Class
They say the hula is a dance that tells a story. In 1883, the hula was first presented to the public. It used to be performed to communicate with the gods. Learning the hula is much more difficult than putting on a grass skirt and coconut top.
8. Try SPAM
You may be wondering what SPAM has to do with Hawaii, but it is actually a staple of their islands. SPAM is known frequently as the Hawaiian steak. It is offered during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The questionable meat in a can is very popular with Hawaiians. In fact, nearly 7 million cans of SPAM are sold in Hawaii every year. So throw on your Hawaiian shirt and eat a can.
9. Purchase a Small Tiki for Your Home
Tiki statues carved out of wood or stone can be noticed across many Polynesian cultures. The tikis can represent many things. Some represent good luck, while others with frightening faces are there to scare evil spirits away. Some are in honor of leaders or gods. Make sure you buy the right one to keep in your house or you may be regretting your decision.
There are other things that are sure to be on your list of things to do from the Hawaiian culture. For most of you, the number one thing to do would probably be visiting Hawaii itself. During different times of the year, and searching for deals from airlines, you can find reasonably priced tickets. Hawaii can be quite expensive, so start saving your dollars now and study up on the Hawaiian culture in the meantime.