People will occasionally stop me and ask me what I “am.”  They can tell I’m not a straight-up caucasian, but they can’t quite pinpoint what my “mix” is.  There are those who wonder if I’m part hispanic, but most who venture a guess posit something in the asian family.

The most common guess is Hawaiian.  The first time I was asked if I was Hawaiian, I was 15 and knew nothing of the islands.  I was taken back at the question; not because I have anything against Hawaiians, but because all I knew at that time was what I had seen on tv:  native Hawaiians in grass skirts dancing the hula at a luau.  And, well, while native Hawaiians are not tall – as I am not – they are also somewhat thick and stocky.  Which I am not.  (Nothing against stocky, that’s just not my build.)

A few years later, I moved out to DC for the summer after my freshman year of college.  And I worked with a Hawaiian.  Who was Chinese.  He lived in an apartment with 5 other Hawaiians.  Who were all Japanese and/or Chinese.

After that summer, I realized that whenever someone asks if I’m Hawaiian, they don’t mean a native Hawaiian.  They just mean was that where I was born?  I still have never been to the islands, but I imagine it’s a jumble of all kinds of asian-ness – with some caucasian thrown in. 

So, no, I’m not Hawaiian.  But I imagine Hawaii to be a place where I can find many who look a lot like me.

3 replies on “hawaiian?”

This reminds me that I need to have my fingers continually crossed that my employer will send me to that conference in Hawaii this October.

Seriously? I get to go to conferences in … Reston. (For those not in the area, that’s 5 miles from where I normally work.) If you do pull it off, be sure to give a shout to the neighborhood, we’d love to be able to see your wife get a trip to the islands as well. 🙂

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