Kama‘āina

I’m not sure what mechanism of time it is that has provoked in me a profound change. I am from Hawai‘i. As with most places that were colonized, there exists a complex mixture of assimilation, independence, hostility, and acceptance. People still take offense when outsiders refer to non-Hawaiian residents of the islands as Hawaiians. Hawaiian is an ethnicity; the nomenclature for a non-ethnic resident of Hawai‘i is, “local.” The Hawaiian word is kama‘āina (native born).… [Read more]

The Safe Box

In America and many other parts of the world, for every race there is a box.  In most cases you either fit in a box or you are an ‘other‘. People feel a certain level of comfort when they can’t figure out which box you should be placed into.  One would think it would make them uncomfortable, but they often assume that if you don’t have a marked box, how can you be offended by being incorrectly categorized?… [Read more]