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Hawaii lei etiquette

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Canada
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Hawaii lei etiquette

I check in daily the Waikiki web cam, and I notice often people hanging their leis on or around the Duke Kahanamoku Statue. Is this what you are supposed to do with it? Is it a cultural thing?...or more like for good luck? Is putting the lei on the Duke Statue considered polite or rude??

Honolulu, Hawaii
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1. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

It's just a thing some people do....

The statue has only been there since 1990 so there is no long-term tradition or anything like that, it has just kind of evolved over time.

There are probably lots of reasons, from showing respect to Hawaii'a most famous personage (the father of surfing and a key figure in the tourism industry), to getting on camera for friends back home, to being a way to get rid of your lei with tossing it in the dumpster (people HATE to do that).

No one considers it disrespectful, the beach boys don't mind keeping it under control (getting rid of old lei), any gift of flowers is welcomed in Hawaii, and locals think it is "cute".

Edited: 28 January 2011, 21:58
Canada
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2. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

Thanks amberloo!! :o)

Surrey, Canada
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3. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

I was told by a local tour guide that by putting your lei on the statue it means you will one day return to the islands. Don't know if you just made it up, but it sounded nice.

Honolulu, Hawaii
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4. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

Dely....

Sounds like a recently updated version of an older (but not ancient) custom among Hawaiian visitors.

Used to be as the steamships left port in Honolulu, folks would throw their lei over the railing into the ocean.

There were a variety of tales from that point, such as If it floated towards shore you would return to the islands someday. My favorite was the one "If it hits the water, you'll be back."

Never heard it regarding the Duke statue, but hey, why not?

Not too many folks come by boat anymore and a good story like that should be modernized, not discarded.

Ukiah, Calif
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5. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

amberloo has an avatar...wheeeee!

California
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for Oahu
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6. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

We always thought of it as a form of "ring-toss." It requires a little skill to ring the lei on Duke. It's a nice tribute. My dad was a friend of Duke's so we always paid tribute to both by "contributing" our lei.

Victoria, Canada
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7. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

on our last night on Oahu, we walk out to the end of the breakwater in front of the Reef on the Beach, kiss our leis goodbye and toss the blossoms into the water. It is kind of sad, so about 5 years ago, my husband switched it up a bit. We still kiss the leis and toss the blossoms, but now we clasp hands and sing "Ring around the Rosy", very quietly..... lol

nwf
NSW Australia
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8. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

Hi People,

This could become a tradition. Sounds great and why not not keep the ball

[or Lei] rolling?? Good luck...NWF

La Mirada...
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for Kauai
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9. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

Please do not throw the lei into the ocean if it is strung on fish line. Birds, turtles, seals even fish can get tangled in it. You can just pull the flowers off to throw.

3Chihuahuas

Manhattan Beach...
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for Los Angeles, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach
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10. Re: Hawaii lei etiquette

The Hyatt Hotel, across from the Duke's Statue gives those purple orchid lie's at check in. We might wear it around the first evening, then drape or throw the lei's over Duke's arms. I think others do the same thing with their lei's. We always look out the balcony the next morning, and they are usually magically gone. So now we know the beachboys are the ones who keep the statue tidy.