More Fun Trivia about the Hawaiian Language

June 18th, 2013

Hawaii is ripe with interesting history, facts, and trivia – and this is a brief collection of the highlights.

More Hawaiian Trivia

Hawaiian is often referred to as the most isolated language in the world, as it’s only spoken widely within the islands of Hawaii, which are very far away from just about everywhere. In fact, Hawaii is the only State in the United States of America completely surrounded by water – and also the only state that doesn’t have a straight line as a boundary marker. All the other states were surveyed and formed by official means, whereas Hawaii was formed by volcanic eruption!

Hawaii is also the only U.S. State that has tropical rainforests – and the only U.S. state that grows coffee. The tropical and volcanic nature of the islands make them unique in many ways. In the 1960s, the U.S. Space Program used the Mauna Loa lava fields to practice walking on the rough terrain of the moon.

Hawaiian Cultural Trivia

Surfing was invented in Hawaii and dates back thousands of years to the original Polynesian settlers. However, the original surfboards were up to 20 feet in length and weighed over 150 pounds!

You may not realise it, but there is a small British flag in the upper-left corner of the Hawaiian State Flag. This honours Captain George Vancouver, responsible for Hawaii’s first flag in 1794.

Hawaii is now part of the world’s leading democracy, but not only was it a kingdom up until 1893, it was also a very class-conscious society. The lowest class of people in ancient Hawaii were known as kauwa, who may have been prisoners captured in inter-tribal wars. They were often used as sacrifices to the gods, which is yet one more reason to be in the better class of society! This social stratification also resulted in some complex rules of behaviour, called kappa. One extreme example of kappa is that the lower class people were not to let their shadows touch the shadows of the upper class, and women were forbidden from sharing their meals with men.

I could go on – Hawaii is fascinating! And I haven’t even gotten to the nose flute yet. If this has whetted your appetite for knowledge (or even just a relaxing trip to Hawaii) then I encourage you to investigate for yourself and learn more about this amazing place.

You might also like:

A pivotal localization industry event, LocFromHome keeps localization professionals current on key industry issues. This year’s talks explored four pre-selected topics: Business, Productivity, Engineering, and Outlook. Within these topic areas, participants were able to explore global trends, discuss business strategies, and learn about useful productivity tools. All from the comfort of their homes. We’re especially proud that Nir Sabato, our Head of Strategy, was selected to present on How to Find Your LSP Identity. In case you missed the event, you can read the summary of Nir’s presentation in this post.