September 24, 2013
“Eh you stupid ““haole””!” Why do most of the people in Hawai’i use “haole” as a slang word? The term “haole” or “without breath” originates from the Native Hawaiian culture. The Hawaiian’s used the “ha” or the breathe of life as a greeting to others of the Hawaiian culture. In today’s society most people of the Hawaiian Islands use it as an insult or slang to foreigners. What is the real context behind the word “haole”?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “haole” as “one who is not descended from the aboriginal Polynesian inhabitants of Hawaii; especially: white.” This term was first associated with the children of the Caucasian immigrants in the early 1820’s. Queen Liliuokalani, the Queen ruler of the Hawaiian monarchy at that time was illegally overthrown from her reign as a monarch of the islands. This event started the rivalry between the Native Hawaiians and nay foregners that step onto their land.
In today’s society the people of Hawaii who believe in the native Hawaiian history, sometimes use it as an insult to white foreigners. A simple “I hate “haole’s” or “Go back to the mainland you stupid “haole’s!” are insults used when a white person does something to upset a Hawaiian. I strongly believe that the Hawaiians are very protective of the history and culture. As evolution evolves, Hawai’i is slowing becoming more of a mainland-based island. With the amount of pure natives decreasing, the islanders are driven to keep the culture strong.
From a friend’s experience, she feels that being insulted by Hawaiian’s makes her feel uncomfortable. While speaking with Haley, she stated, “I don’t feel like I can fit in with some of the Hawaiian people that I see. Being from Washington, most people tease me because I act differently. Most of the Hawaiians feel that I’m trying to change their ways and their culture. They think that I’m trying to take over their land.” This interview alone shows that most Hawaiians want the islands to themselves. Every foreigner is automatically stereotyped by the Hawaiian. This should not be occurring to people who do not deserve it.
Personally, I feel that native Hawaiians should not use “haole” as an insult to foreigners. Yes, I believe in the Hawaiian culture and I can relate to the overthrow of the Hawaiian kingdom but the islands evolved over time. I feel that the people of Hawai’i have to accept the change and adapt to the change that occurs to the islands. After all, the tourists or “foreigners” that comes to the Hawaiian Islands basically fund Hawai’i. Hawaii is one of the top vacation destination that most dream of visiting. I see it as if they were helping the islands prosper. I do not necessarily agree on the new mainland agencies that are buying out some of the stores and what Hawaii has to offer of the Hawaiian culture. I also do not agree with some of the changes that the government is making which is under rule by a white male. I think that is why