K’den… dis kinda hard for explain.
So a few years ago, I was volunteering again at Vista House. Was working wit one wahine I nevah wen meet befoah. She was reeyo nice, knowledgeable, etc…(well, except foah potty mout’, which is absolutely NOT okay wen talking wit da tourists).
But wen I first wen get dea and she wen hear my name foa da first time, she wen tell me… “Mokihana? What kind of a name is that?”, and so at da first quiet moment between visitors I wen tell her da meaning of my name, da island flower of Kaua‘i etc, jass like I tell everyone else.
She wen axe me, “Oh, so your parents visited Hawai‘i, came back to the mainland and named you that?” I explained, no, my parents lived ova dea, and I was born and raised dea.
She wen gimme fish eye and wen axe me wat I meant by dat. “What do you mean, you were born and raised there?” Umm…. jassladat! My parents lived dea. I was born dea. I spent all my growing up years dea.
She said, “Well, that is the craziest thing I ever heard!!” And she went on to explain dat she thought only native Hawaiians and tourists (who only stayed for 2 weeks) lived in Hawai‘i!! She no could wrap her brain around da fact dat plenny peeps odda den kanaka maoli live dea permanently… because aftah all, it’s one island!
I wen try ‘splain to her moa… but she just thought was unbelievable! “You mean you went to school there? You spent all of your formative years there?” “Yes, and yes”, I wen tell her. “That just doesn’t make sense!” she wen tell me. I wen axe her why not…but she nevah could ‘splain why she thought was so unbelievable, except dat it was one island! And since was one island, no way I could be born and raised dea. Wassap wit dat?
So den she wen axe hakum I no stay dea now, and I wen tell her about da cost of living, da traffic, high property taxes, etc… sometimes needing foa work 2-3 jobs just for make ends meet, how my keeds stay mainland. I even wen give her one brief, very brief, Hawaiian history lesson, like about Queen Lili‘uokalani and da illegal overthrow of her government.
But she wen keep coming back to how unrealz it was dat I was born and raised dea, on dat island, and now lived hea. She wen tell me she neva eva wen meet anybody from Hawai‘i before, someone who no was one tourist. Was like I was dis todal oddity to her.
I admit dat I stay one oddity but not in da way she meant!
That’s so wack. Not to mention rude to react to your name and such. Even if her mind was blown by the strangeness of it all (I DON’T think it’s strange, but den, I’m one oddity, too maybe?) she didn’t have to react like that. Rude. Raised by wolves, most likely.
Some people make ignorance a way of life.
That sounds crueler than I mean it to be, it’s just that I have run into that same kind of close-minded attitude here, in Japan, in California, in Indianapolis, among several religions and cultures, like a plague. It is pretty silly, except if people act on that type of ignorance to harm others.
Reminds me of da time we went home & overheard dis haole boy ask his friend why dey were flying da British flag ova da state capitol. Couldn’t undastand when his friend tried to explain (for 15 minutes)…You just gotta laugh. (By the way, according to a guy my bil worked w/a few years back, Idaho is a province of Canada.)
Ignorance has no boundaries especially with one track minds. LOL
Like einstein said:
” Only two things are infinite, The Universe and Human Ignorance.
And I’m not sure about the Universe.”
Talking to some people is like Br’er Rabbit and The Tar Baby……
Best just stay away…….
I was working/volunteering with her so couldn’t leave. But fortunately I didn’t have a shift with her again. Love the quote, Wally!
There are just some people with whom discourse is essentially a waste of time. I’ve worked hard over the years to craft pleasant ‘detaching’ strategies – like when dealing with a persisitent or aggressive panhandler, or excusing myself from a conversation with a dull-witted, unaware co-worker. You understand the game, you were stuck there, so you did your best to deal with it. Often I’ve just let the conversation dry up by discussing ‘The Broncos’ (always a ‘Broncos’ team somewhere to discuss 🙂 If persistent, ‘Let’s talk about this later, OK?’ …. ‘Cast not your pearls before swine’. There ARE dumb folks about, actually un-interested in learning. You met one. Asswyhahd, tita! Hele on, Girl! Choke Alohas to you, Ambassadress-at Large!
Some people have no imagination and even less courtesy. This woman sounds pretty dumb, to be perfectly frank.
One friend from N.J. (long timago) from my hanabata days tole me his maddah used to work da passport office in N.J. Someboddy wen call asking if dey needed one passport to go to Hawai`i (back in da early 70s). She tole him Hawai`i was one state and dat he nevah need one passport. “When did that happen?” asked the caller. Aue.
Well I think it is a very kewt story. I would have been amazed by her and, well, you know me… I’d have a bunch of FUN teaching her all the really interesting stuff about Hawaii to watch her blow her mind.
You know though, to be totally honest. I’ve traveled all over the orient and there were some tribes and nations that I’ve been to that is not even on the map. I have walked into such communities totally ‘ignorant’ of their culture and traditions, so I guess I am more tolerant than a lot of people who do not know how it is to be so ignorant, but yet be so curious in wanting to know all I can about people. I too will ask many questions, and perhaps I too have overwhelmed many people with my curiosity and zillion questions. I guess I was just very lucky to have been able to run into people like you, Mokihana, who were kind enough to explain things without telling me to go jump in the lake where the alligators dwell. LOL
But then again, they could have talked about me behind my back like the posts above. Gosh, now that makes me wonder.
Anyway, I don’t believe that ignorance is a bad thing. It can be bad if one doesn’t try to overcome their ignorance by not asking questions. I think that lady, although she may have been annoying (we all are guilty of that from time to time), was definitely trying to understand and overcome her ‘thinking obstacle,’ whatever that may have been at the time, to the point of being able to accept the fact that there are indeed people, other than native Hawaiians, that live on Hawaii. I’m just glad you were willing to help. She probably went to other people who were also knowledgeable and learned even more about Hawaii. That is a good thing.
Aloha is always, always, ALWAYS willing to share about Hawaii nei, yeah? And even deeper than that, Aloha is always tolerant.
Wally,mahalo plenny. Good to have you stopping by here. I’m gonna remember your replies. “How ’bout them Ducks?” The wahine was so persistent, I’m not sure I could’ve gotten away with that, though. Maybe “Let’s talk about this later” would have worked. The crazy thing is that I fail to understand why she couldn’t understand how I could possibly be from Hawai’i!