Tag: Race in the Honolulu Community


Race in the Honolulu Community



Honolulu is the most populated area of the Hawaii state in the United States while downtown Honolulu is the center of financial, commercial as well as the government center for the Hawaiian government. The Honolulu community is made up of mostly upper class districts where the residents live in high-priced homes. The upper class communities are made up of the Wai’alae’iki and the Hawai’i Loa Ridge. According to the 2002 census, the Honolulu community had approximately 20% whites in the total population, the African-Americans were 1.6% while Asians made up an entire 55.9% of the total population. Therefore the entire Honolulu population is made up of mostly Asians and whites who are the minority and they reside in the high as well as the upper class residential areas. Social integration has been one of the most prominent racial conflict affecting visitors and tourists who are visiting the community for the first time. The presence of more races in the city has been a blessing in disguise as the city has achieved quiet a lot through contributions of different races.


History of Honolulu

The first Polynesians to settle in Honolulu is thought to have migrated there in the12th century. This pioneer Polynesian together with other Native Americans established the Honolulu as the capital city of Hawaii after constructing modern buildings all over the town as a way of elevating its status (Honolulu: Municipal Government, 2009).

In the 1890s, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and this led to an attack by the Japanese which had damaging effects on the Pearl Harbor which left Honolulu as the largest city in the islands. Over the years, the city has grown especially with increased tourism and growing economy in the state. Establishment of modern air travel resulted into construction of the Honolulu InternationalAirport which was primarily constructed as a hub of tourist convenience

(Honolulu: Municipal Government, 2009).

In recent years, Honolulu has been categorized as the 29th city in the world where the quality of living is guaranteed. Cases of crime and sanitation have gone down in the recent years therefore making Honolulu a favorite destination for many tourists. The city has been less hit by instances of political instability while personal freedom and transport is at an advanced stage such that a visitor in the city does not get lost (Honolulu: Municipal Government, 2009).  

 Dialects in the Honolulu Community

Although Caucasians make up a larger percentage of the entire Honolulu population, the official language which is predominant in the community is English. Despite the fact that Hawaiian is the native tongue, most residents and especially the natives have incorporated Hawaiian/Asian words into English to come with a local “slang” which is closely related to Hawaiian pidgin (Villareal, 2005).The “slang” creates an even ground for various racial ethnicities to understand each other as well as to eliminate any communication barriers which may be present. The local dialect has evolved so much over the past few years such that it would be difficult to distinguish between locals and natives in institutions of learning. It has helped many foreign students in the local universities to adapt quickly as well as to learn their way through various parts of the county (Villareal, 2005).

 Racial integration in Honolulu community

Most of the races in the Honolulu community who are exposed to racial discrimination in schools are the immigrant Asians who are subjected to the same by the Polynesians who are natives. The conflict arises where the native Asians have adjusted to the life in Honolulu as well as adopting the culture of the Hawaiians in all aspects such that it would be different to tell them apart (Honolulu, 2010).  Discrimination is often ignored such that it is not strange to hear a Polynesian boy shouting at his Asian counterparts in the presence of adults who do not raise any qualms about it. Similarly, most Asians possess deep hatred for the Polynesians and racist jokes are considered as part of life for them. Polynesians are branded ignorant bullies as they have changed their culture and ethnicity to adapt a foreign one.

This increases the racial tension and the rival races usually blame each other on crimes committed from either camp (Honolulu: Municipal Government, 2009).The racial discrimination has been so intense that most Asians are known to take their children to private schools which are mostly composed of mixed races. This reduces discrimination along racial lines due to even presentation of all races. The same case applies for whites who are discriminated as well along racial boundaries by the Polynesians. On the extreme end, the social places in Honolulu have being built in a such a way that the whites do not feel welcome in any of them and hence creates a form of discrimination as they are not included in such programs. This has led to development of social places which cater for the specific ethnic backgrounds such that they are made with the tastes and preferences presented by specific races(Villareal, 2005)..

  Commercial activities in Honolulu

The minority whites are more involved in most of the major industries in Honolulu. These include the sugar industry which has been a major income earner for the larger Hawaii as well as involvement in intensive agriculture. Aquaculture has been a reserve of the African-Americans while the Asians have more interests in the financial field (Honolulu: Municipal Government, 2009).The rate of unemployment is below 5% which is attributed to increased growth of the economy the agricultural sector has greatly contributed to increased employment opportunities while the government has spent quite a lot in improving the working conditions for all in Honolulu. The Office of Economic Development has been up in arms to creating a business-friendly environment for investors as well as those who are interested in starting their own business (Honolulu, 2010).   

Much effort has been placed in the involvement of all races in community activities such as commemoration of the close relationship between Honolulu and its counterpart in China known as Zhongshan. Other income generating activities which involve people from all cultural backgrounds include the Honolulu Cultural and Arts District Association. These activities have been developed as a way on creating more revenue for the city as well as ensuring that the disparity portrayed by the different racial groups is eliminated(Honolulu: Municipal Government, 2009).The Honolulu community has benefited greatly from tourism which is made possible by proper utilization of the famous beach resorts. The favorable weather and presence of mixed races in the community is another aspect which has led to increased domestic and international tourism (Villareal, 2005)..

 Honolulu cultural festivities

 Presence of diverse racial ethnicity in Honolulu has significantly contributed to availability of quite a number of cultural festivals in the city. The first holiday is marked in January of February each year and it is called the Narcissus Festival which marks the begging of anew Chinese year. This festivity is characterized by beauty pageants and lion dances throughout the entire season (Honolulu, 2010).The Japanese also have their Cherry Blossom Queen festival which runs from January to March each year. This festival has its climax whet e entire population selects their favorite Cherry Blossom Queen and Court. Later on in the month of March, the whole community comes together to celebrate the Honolulu Festival which is an attempt of the government to celebrate the ethnic harmony that is exhibited in the city (Honolulu, 2010).  The students who are in schools also have a chance of exhibiting racial harmony every year during the annual Hawaii Invitational Music Festival which oversees all learners in junior, school as well as those in colleges presenting their musical prowess. This musical festivals are often a center of attraction for many especially the lovers of Honolulu symphony as they also get a chance of receiving an equal share of the genre. This is especially emphasized by the Hawaii International Jazz Festival which is celebrated every year in late July and it incorporates artistes from all ethnical backgrounds.

 Other festivities include the Lei day which is celebrate don may 1st each year and it encompasses plenty of hula dances in addition to crowning of the Lei Queen which brings the festivals to a climax (Honolulu, 2010).Most of the festivities are carried out at the Neal SBlasdellCenter which is the largest social site in the city. All major events which affect the diverse cultural backgrounds of the residents are held here as the center is composed of a variety of features such as an exhibition hall, a multi-purpose hall and a concert hall such that a wide range of events can be held there at the same time. Similarly there is an outdoor amphitheater near Waikiki beach that seats more than two thousand five hundred people at a go (Honolulu: Municipal Government, 2009).Another important facet of the Honolulu community is the Bishop Museum which is popularly known for its Polynesian artifacts. The Polynesian artistes are arguably the best in the world and most of their works has been put on display in the museum. Consequently, Asian artifacts are displayed in the Honolulu Academy of Arts which also houses permanent exhibits by Italian artistes (Honolulu: Municipal Government, 2009).


The races on Honolulu community have been of great significance to growth of the city in various dimensions such as the agricultural sector as well as the tourism industry. Consequently, establishment of festivities for different cultural ethnicities has greatly reduced the racial discrimination which was eminent in past years.


Honolulu (2010), Honolulu community. Retrieved on May 28, 2010 from:  www.honolulu.gov/main/residnest-community

Honolulu: municipal government (2009), Honolulu: economy. Retrieved on May 28,          2010 from: www.city-data.com/us-cities/The…/HonoluluEconomy.html

Villareal, M. (2005), Does social integration create homogenous preferences?” presented   during the annual meeting of International Studies Association. Retrieved on May       28, 2010 from: http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p69421-index.html.

Janet Peter is the author and is associated with meldaresearch.com which is a global research papers 24/7 provider. If you would like help in essays, research papers, term papers and dissertations, you can visit ResearchPapers247.com

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