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First Birthday Parties in Hawaii. Part I


First Birthday Parties in Hawaii. Part I Jolene Kaneshige PhotographyIn this post I will explain a little bit about how “Hawaii-ans” celebrate First Birthdays!

Note: Why are you saying “Hawaii-ans?” I thought that the correct term was “Hawaiian’s”
In Hawaii if you do not have Hawaiian blood then you can not say that you are “Hawaiian.” “Hawaii-ans” is a term that I use (and many other locals as well) to define that we live here, but are not native to the land. It might not seem like a big deal, but to a lot of people that are native Hawaiians, it is. Thus respectfully, I will refer to those of us that live here as “Hawaii-ans.”

In the Hawaiian islands celebrating a first birthday is a huge milestone!

We are talking, really big deal! I always jest that it means that the parents survived on little to no sleep for a whole year, but really it means celebrating the child’s long life journey ahead. Not to mention, us Hawaii-ans like almost any excuse we can to throw a party, invite all the Aunties and Uncles, and eat all the yummilicious foods! Good food, great company, Hawaiian music, and sometimes green bottles are involved in the celebratory process. 😉 You really can’t go wrong with that.

The venues for first birthday parties vary depending on the preference of the parents. I have been to fancy birthdays at the Hawaii aquarium, Hawaii Country Club, hotel ballrooms, and very simple parties; at the beach, someone’s backyard, or a local community center. The main thing is enjoying the company of friends and family to celebrate together.

What do people in Hawaii eat at these First Birthday Celebrations?

Traditional food varieties vary on the cultural heritage of the parents. Although in Hawaii, you can never go wrong with Hawaiian food. For example:

Pupus (appetizers): Poke (any and all varieties), pipkaula (smoked meat), lomi salmon etc..

Entrees: Laulau (steamed taro leaves and meat), Kalua pork, long rice (long rice noodles to signify long life), poi, rice (because you can’t have a party without rice in Hawaii), and other assorted meats.

Dessert: Haupia (coconut pudding).

Sometimes the line is also blurred between Hawaiian food and Hawaii food. While there is Traditional Hawaiian food, Hawaii/local food has been cooked up/evolved over the years because we are the melting pot of many cultures. Thus, over the course of time we have developed many interesting and delicious foodie fusion concoctions.

There is so much more that I can expand on, but that will have to wait until the next post! Send me a message if you have any questions or comments!

To be continued…

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