My wife and I are moving to Hawaii in 2014. We are attempting to immerse ourselves into the Hawaiian culture and its language all the way from Oklahoma City. Learning to pronounce Hawaiian words and phrases is new and challenging, and frankly – hilarious! For example the state fish:
We’ve mastered the pronunciation of this word after about a month of tongue twisting cramps. Cramps so bad that we sounded like we were from Arkansas, the very deep woods of Arkansas (queue the banjo playing). Now I don’t know how they came up with this long name, but for the sake of fun, let’s take an imaginary road towards its development:
- Humu – nope, too close to hummus
- Humuhumu – nope, double hummus recipe
- Humuhumunuku – nope, just means microwaved double recipe of hummus.
- Humuhumunukunuku – nope, just means an overly microwaved, now nuclear contaminated double of hummus.
- Humuhumuhukunukuapau’a – Yeah that works!!! Let’s give it to that reef trigger fish over there and then roll on the floor laughing when tourists get tongue tied.
Now that Christmas is near, we’re learning to say Merry Christmas, which is Mele Kalikimaka! We’ve learned that Aloha has numerous meanings and you can’t go wrong saying it to anyone, well, except that 8 tooth, banjo strumming, Gollum twin of a Grinch from Arkansas,
“Ya sud wat to me?!”
I love the word for appetizers, pupu, pronounced Poo Poo. It awesomely hangs 10! Nothing says you love your family and friends when you tell them you are having a pupu party. Luckily we don’t have to go to a restaurant and order a round of HumuHumuNukuNukuPupus, or NukuNukuNachoNachosPupus. We’d have to have a personal trainer standing nearby to stretch the cramps in our tongues and faces, and cardiologist nearby as the natives convulse from laughing.
We have learned that when you tell family and friends you are leaving for Hawaii, they immediately hate and disown you. We have a younger couple who we have connected with, trapped and enslaved here in Oklahoma, who also love Kauai. We get together to talk about Hawaii, rum concoctions while it’s 10 degrees with a -8 wind chill outside. They’ve been telling us we need to watch videos and mix up a batch of Sneaky Tiki’s – a tropical blend of 3 alcohols and fruit juice, that just sneaks up on you. So with that in mind, I created my own fish:
To all Hawaiian’s I apologize if any of this is offensive, you will come to know me as an absurd guy who loves people, the outdoors, laughing and enjoying a glimpse of heaven, the true meaning of Hawaii.
Mele Kalikimaka and Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!
Owww… ma tung is tuck agin.