(State of Hawaii, Mokuʻāina o Hawaiʻi)
• Location: Central Pacific
• Capital: Honolulu
• Language(s): English, Hawaiian
• Population: 1,412,264
• Total Area: 28,312 sq km
• Curious Alcohol Fact: There is the okolehao, a local alcoholic beverage made from the ti plant and served during feasts.
• Most Popular Drink(s): Flavored tropical fruit juices.
• Interesting Fact: Hawaii is the southernmost of all states in the United States.
• Nickname(s): The Aloha State
• What You Must Do in Hawaii: For the treat of lifetime, visit one of the active volcanoes especially Mauna Kea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
A group of paradise islands, the state of Hawaii is one of the best-known states in America. By virtue of its geography and relief, Hawaii is the only island state in the United States and it is the southernmost of all the states. Located in the Central Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is an archipelago of volcanic islands. There are eight major islands and over 120 islets. The larger islands include Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Niihau and Kauai. These are collectively known as the Hawaiian Islands. Admitted into the Union in 1959 as the 50th state, Hawaii is the youngest of all the American states. The largest city is Honolulu and it doubles as the island state’s capital city. If there is the perfect climate, then it is the mild tropical climate of the islands. During winters, you will find many areas cool, especially the settlements close to the mountains. Rainfall can be torrential especially on the island of Mount Waialeale.
In probing the history of the Islanders, I learnt that the first settlers of Hawaii are the Polynesians who came from the Marquesas Islands. Today, the trend is quite interesting as just about 10% of the residents are Native Hawaiians or other Pacific Islands. Other people in the island state are Whites, Hispanics, African Americans, American Indian, Asians and Alaska Natives. Many of the Asians have a Japanese, Korean, Filipino and Chinese ancestry. In terms of religious affiliations, around a third of the people are Christians while the others are Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, Baha’i and Jews. Also, there are followers the traditional Hawaiian religion. The official languages are English and Hawaiian although the native speakers of Hawaiian are quite rare.
Eating in Hawaii
When it comes to food, Hawaii a truly a tropical paradise. The first thing you should try out is roasted beef, which has a unique flavor because of the method of processing. In Hawaii, the traditional process of cooking involves the use of earth ovens called the imu. The use of the imu dates back thousands of years and you can also try your hand at one of these ovens –start with grilled fish! On the islands, there are food feasts called the lu’au and tourists have always described these feasts as heavenly. I did not believe this until Iattended one myself. Various foods were prepared and the ones I tasted include the lau lau (made from boiled fish, chicken and meat enclosed in taro leaves), kalua pig (pork with steamed vegetables) and the unforgettable chicken long rice.
Drinking in Hawaii
When you take any of the drinks offered by your delightful Hawaiian hosts, you will understand why many tourists keep returning to the islands. From refreshing coconut milk to tasty fruit juices and the popular kava, Hawaii has got it all.
Sports in Hawaii
Sports in Hawaii is often described as sports in paradise. You will be thrilled with the abundance of local sports, games and physical activities. Swimming and surfing are also quite popular and there are many areas where you can enjoy a game of football or basketball.
Interesting Facts About Hawaii
• The state of Hawaii is the last to be admitted to the Union in 1959.
• The state is actually a collection of volcanic islands.
• When the first explorers landed in Hawaii, the islanders suffered from virtually no disease.
• President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in August 1961.
• There are no substantial mineral deposits in Hawaii.
Story By World By Shotglass
©2013 World By Shotglass. All Rights Reserved
Special thanks to our contributors:
Adebayo Ahmed Adebola (Ilorin, Nigeria).