INTRO TO COUNTRY
Hawaii is the state of the US that lies outside of the continental U.S. in the Pacific Ocean about 2000 miles from the U.S. mainland. The Island is of Strategic importance to the US and its allies and regional partners in the Pacific because it helps facilitate trade, security, and stability in the region.
Population: 1,431,63 (estimated in July 2021)
Nickname: The Aloha State
State Bird: Nene
State Flower: Yellow Hibiscus
Largest City: Honolulu
Thousands of tourists come to this wonderland every year to witness volcanoes rising high in the sky, sandy beaches, and captivating valleys. Originating from Polynesians who traveled to Hawaii and settled there, Native Hawaiian culture spans more than 1500 years. These people introduced Native Hawaiian religion, Hawaiian art, and Hawaiian cuisine. The place is a favorite holiday destination not just for US citizens, but for people throughout the world.
Hawaii's culture encompasses everything from cuisine and fashion to religion and language. Giving Leis is one of the most notable customs in Hawaii. Flower lei gifts are meant to welcome a person and offer friendship. During a visit to Hawaii, one can also see a type of dance called the Hula performed by women and men dressed in brightly colored costumes and grass skirts. It was originally performed only by men.
Music has always remained an important feature in Hawaiian culture. Music in Hawaii has evolved a great deal over the years, starting with primal drumbeats and continuing to contemporary artists. Hapa-Haole, luau, Kolohe, Jawaiian, and Chalangalang are some popular music forms on the Island.
Since Hawaii is a tourist destination that receives hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the Island's tourism economy. Not only that, but also the offices, restaurants, and private schools were closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Fortunately, things are getting back to normal in Hawaii and people are visiting the island again with the proper safety measures in place.