1. Consider the ‘Protect Kaho’olawe ‘Ohana‘ effort, or the recent ‘We Are Mauna Kea‘ movement. Locals stand up for what they believe in. We may be small, but when it comes to respecting the land or our sacred places, we make our voices heard.
2. From tropical monsoons to arid deserts, the Big Island is home to 10 of the world’s 14 sub-climate zones. The 4,000-square mile island has the highest concentration of climate zones in the world.
3. Poke has become a growing global food trend, but in Hawaii, it has always been our go-to beach food and potluck dish. With the best seafood and marinades around, authentic poke from Hawaii can’t be beat.
4. Nicknamed ‘The Aloha State’, we pride ourselves on our friendly, laid-back ways. The philosophy of aloha spirit is based on treating each other and nature with love and respect, so don’t ever honk your car horn when driving in Hawaii.
5. We have a unique local music scene known as Hawaiian Reggae — or Jawaiian — a hybrid of Hawaiian music and reggae. Listeners fall in love with the genre’s incredible danceability and island flair.
6. We have two official state languages, Hawaiian and English. Since the overthrow and subsequent introduction of English, the Hawaiian language has been listed on the UNESCO Atlas of Endangered Languages but seems to be in a stage of revitalization.
7. Ancient Hawaiians were surfing long before European contact and are regularly crowned the best surfers in the world for both the male and female divisions. From Pipeline and Jaws to Waimea Bay, Hawaii is known for having some of the deadliest breaks — and the best surfing conditions in the world.
8. Despite the high cost of living, Hawaii was named the happiest state in the US for the sixth time in a row, according to the Gallup-Healthways State Wellbeing Report for 2016.
9. People from around the world recognize the natural beauty of our island home. From hiking and boating to snorkeling and stand up paddle boarding, the outdoor activity opportunities are endless — and we take full advantage of them.
10. The most well-known traditions may be hula and lei making. Even after being incorporated into the US, Hawaiian culture and philosophy are still practised. Hawaiian navigation, arts and crafts, music, legends and values continue to be an important part of our local identity.
11. Hawaiian shirts may have turned into a hipster trend on the mainland, but we always knew how to rock our matching family aloha attire. Floral button downs or loose flowing dresses are completely acceptable business attire in Hawaii.