I grew up on the East side of Oʻahu in a small town called Kāneʻohe. Kāneʻohe is on the Windward side of the island and is known as the district that always rains. Which is why all the trees and mountains are so green. It’s also known for the beautiful Koʻolau Range that overlooks my home.
What inspired my love for photography was my passion for people. My motto is “Life is Beautiful” because I want to show others how beautiful life can be if we just took a chance to see it differently every day. That motto and mission drives me to go out every day for sunrises and sunsets here to capture and showcase Hawaii’s beauty for others who miss to see it.
It’s crazy how even us residents need to be reminded how lucky we are to call these beautiful Islands our home.
Getting in Touch with the Traditional Culture of Hawaii
The culture of Hawaii is based around family, taking care of the land and giving back to the community. Growing up, we always valued friends as family. When you are invited to a get together or small party at someone else’s home, we would always bring something as a courtesy to show respect and thanks!
It’s just the way we are here. We all have each other’s best interest at heart and try to always spread love and aloha wherever we go with whomever we meet! Hawaiians count on each other and rely on each other. We are brothers and sisters who grew up and shared the same land, this place, our home together.
Hawaiians share the same uncles and aunties, grandmas and grandpas, fathers and mothers who treated us to some of our favorite local treats: shaved ice, spam musubis and kalua pork plate lunches. We were family back then, and still are family today. It’s our culture!
Growing up in Hawaii, I’ve come to realize how many people come and go and how more and more visitors come and stay. This is amazing! And as that continues to happen, our culture remains the same. Our values will never change. We will continue to show love and aloha to everyone.
Because if you call this place your home, if you respect each other, love each other and immerse yourself in our culture, you’re considered family. Part of our island ohana that we all try to upkeep.
Although I am born and raised here, I am not of Hawaiian descent. However, I have lived and have best friends who are and have learned so much of what it means growing up here throughout the years.
To have respect for one another. Respect for the land and sea. Reverance of Hawaiian heritage/traditions. Love for family and friends and love for the community and generations to come. I believe that’s what it means to be immersed in the culture of Hawaii and what it means to be Hawaiian.
13 Amazing Experiences to Immerse Yourself in the Culture of Hawaii
The best way to experience real Hawaiian culture is to truly immerse yourself in our history and way of life. In my opinion, these are the closest and most authentic experiences you can find here on the island.
I spoke with other local’s from the other islands and have shared experiences that I want to recommend! I don’t want to disclude any other Islands that people may visit here in our State. So I’ll name a few from Maui, Kauai, Big Island (Kona) and Oahu.
- Merrie Monarch Festival (held once a year on the Big Island of Oahu)
There is still so much of Hawaii that I haven’t seen and so much left to experience and learn about on all 8 islands in our state. Other than Oahu, so far I have traveled to the island of Maui, Big Island (Kona) and Kauai. I would say these are the most visited Islands out of the 8 island chain.
I have not explored all of them as much as I wanted to do on Oahu, but I can say that Kauai is the most beautiful island I have been to so far! So much green, so many massive waterfalls and hikes, and it has the best mountain range I have ever seen in the Na Pali Coast.
It also has the most beautiful ridgelines I have ever seen during sunrise and/or sunset! The light just makes them look amazing. A definite must see when visiting the island, either from a helicopter, boat, or even hike. A place that needs to be on everyone’s bucket list.
My Favourite Place in Hawaii: Sunset Beach
My favorite place in Hawaii is Sunset Beach on the North Shore of Oahu. The Hawaiian name for this place is Paumalū. It is the perfect spot to watch the sunset, hence the name, and just a beautiful stretch of beach perfect for the perfect beach day with family and friends.
This place is special to me because this is where I spent most of my summers growing up. My family would rent out a house along the beach for the weekend every year when I was a kid.
We’d always invite our closest friends and just have fun camping, cooking out, watching the sunsets and enjoying each others company in paradise. Something I’ll never forget and will always appreciate about this place.
Also, during the winter, the WSL (World Surf League) holds the Sunset Open surf competition here. A surf competition in Hawaii is an event everyone should experience! A beach full of good vibes, good surf, you just can’t beat that kind of atmosphere!
Bonus Tip: Where to Find Delicious “Ono” Hawaiian Food
The food in Hawaii is “‘ono!” which means delicious, tasty, good in Hawaiian. Here are my must try places and dishes:
After hiking or surfing, these places always make me look forward to eating! Thanks for reading my travel tips on how to immerse yourself in the culture of Hawaii. I hope to see you in Hawaii one day.