Photo: Deborah Kolb/Shutterstock

21 Differences Between a Normal Friend and a Hawaiian Friend

Hawaii Culture
by Jill Meinecke Oct 31, 2017


A normal friend sports any run-of-the-mill flip flops.
A Hawaiian friend has a strong slippahs game — a nice pair of Scotts for dining out and a pair of Locals for the beach and errands.


A normal friend might smile or laugh when they are having a good time.
A Hawaiian friend will yell a spirited “CHHEEEEE HOO!” when having a blast.


When a normal friend’s family member dies, they throw a somber and morose funeral.
When a Hawaiian friend’s family member dies, they throw a celebration of life complete with live band, luau, and dancing.


A normal friend eats popcorn and drinks soda at the movie theater.
A Hawaiian friend tops their popcorn with mochi crunch, drinks POG, and sneaks in spam musubis from 7-11 to grind on during the movie.


A normal friend drives an energy-efficient sedan.
A Hawaiian friend drives a lifted or lowered truck, then goes on rallies and cruises on the weekends flying the Hawaiian flag.


A normal friend rents party halls for special occasions.
A Hawaiian friend throws parties and blowouts at the beach complete with karaoke machines and bouncy houses inviting the entire family tree.


A normal friend feels the need to move out of their house and away from their family at 18.
A Hawaiian friend values ohana above all things and often lives in intergenerational homes.


A normal friend measures distance in miles.
A Hawaiian friend measures distance in car-travel time considering route, rush hour traffic, and whether or not the zipper lane is open.


A normal friend eats bacon or link sausage for breakfast.
A Hawaiian friend loves spam and Portuguese sausage with fried rice for breakfast.


A normal friend might have a nickname for you.
A Hawaiian friend will always call you “Brah,” “Sistah,” “Auntie,” or “Uncle.”


A normal friend busts out their t-shirts and shorts in the 70-degree weather.
A Hawaiian friend starts scanning the sky for snow and bundles up.


A normal friend will show up to the party on time, or even early…
A Hawaiian friend will show up a half an hour or an hour late, on Hawaiian time.


A normal friend would tell you to go north, south, east or west when giving directions.
A Hawaiian friend gives directions based on the mountain, the sea, or landmarks: “Auntie’s house stay mauka of H1,” or “I’m parked Ewa of Times.”


A normal friend might say they are traveling in the US.
A Hawaiian friend will say they are “going mainland.”


A normal friend buys a mixed-breed dog and calls it a mutt.
A Hawaiian friend buys a mixed-breed dog and calls it a poi-dog.


A normal friend will invite you to meet up for happy hour.
A Hawaiian friend will take you out for pau hana.


A normal friend brings snacks to work for birthdays.
A Hawaiian friend brings snacks to work on the regular — manapua, pork hash, malasadas, doughnuts — every day is a reason to celebrate.


A normal friend will give you a greeting card for your birthday.
A Hawaiian friend will drape you in fresh flower lei.


A normal friend will take you to the aquarium to learn about sea life.
A Hawaiian friend will take you to the best snorkel and dive spots to swim with sea turtles and tropical fish.


A normal friend will ask you to get a ride with someone else when they run out of room in their car.
A Hawaiian friend will yell, “No worries, jump in the back!” and have you cruise around in their truck bed.


A normal friend will throw a party and ask you to bring something.
A Hawaiian friend will throw a party, not ask you to bring anything, and the potluck bounty will astound you. You’ll quickly learn a local-style potluck dish to bring every time. Spam rice, anyone?

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