By Nikki D.

Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders have taken over the fabulous Las Vegas with “local” food places at every corner and their interesting language that makes no sense. It is not news that there are some stereotypes about this culture based off of movies or television shows set in Hawaii. Not to be the bear of bad news, but some of these are pretty spot on.  If you live in Las Vegas, and haven’t already encountered a Hawaiian, it is bound to happen.

Las Vegas Weekly wrote an article explaining why there are so many Hawaiians in Hawaii today. Hint: Uncle Sam Boyd and his genius marketing skills. It also says there were 16, 300 Nevada residents that are from Hawaiian decent back in 2010, which I’m sure has grown. Since they’re not leaving Las Vegas anytime soon, it might be time to get a better understanding of these people and where they come from.

Homemade Spam Musubi
Homemade Spam Musubi

WHY DO THEY EAT WEIRD THINGS

You may have grown up reading Dr. Suess’s book, Green Eggs and Ham, but people from Hawaii grew up with a different version. Green Eggs and Spam. The stereotype is true, Hawaiians love their Spam. According to Spam.com, 7 million cans are sold annually in Hawaii alone. The relationship between Spam and Hawaiians dates back to World War II when Spam was served to the GIs, and the rest is history. Although I don’t personally consider Spam as part of my diet, I did grow up eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast was Spam, eggs and rice, lunch was Spam Musubis (pretty much a large sushi with Spam instead of fish on top) and for dinner was a bowl of Saimin (ramen) and sliced up Spam.

Las Vegas Eateries for the Daring

Like I said before, Hawaiians have taken over Las Vegas. There are so many places that you can find Hawaiian food at around Las Vegas. Here are a few of my favorites, but there are a lot more. All you have to do is Yelp “Hawaiian food” or look for any restaurants with these key words in the name: aloha, 808, island, mahalo, Hawaii or Hawaiian.

  • Island Flavor
  • Aloha Kitchen
  • Aloha Specialties
  • Market Street Cafe

WHAT LANGUAGE ARE THEY SPEAKING?

Pidgin is not a language, or an accent either. It is really just a combination of cultures in Hawaii. Hawaii is a melting pot of cultures from around the world because back in the olden days people immigrated to Hawaii to work on the sugarcane and pineapple plantations. They came up with a language that sort of made sense to everyone. Take Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Portuguese, English and other made up combinations of words and you get Pidgin. A lot of English connector words that don’t translate to foreign languages are excluded and a lot of different cultures do this when trying to speak English. Pidgin is not taught and does not sound right if you learn from a book because it is completely made-up. Most people from Hawaii can turn it on and off, but it comes out naturally when speaking with a group of people who also speaks pidgin.

STILL NOT ENOUGH? 

In my video I explain other stereotypes that you have heard about Hawaiians. Remember I am not here to say they are true or untrue, but just here to give a brief explanation of what it all means.

Hawaiians can be a confusing culture, especially because the people who live there are from different ethnic background and had to find a way to live as one society. Since they make up a large population in Las Vegas it is about time you get to know a little about your neighbor islanders.

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