May 4, Boys Day in Hawaii
Sometimes I don’t realize how lucky I am to have been raised in Hawaii. I grew up with many Japanese traditions that I naively took for granted, and learned about many other customs through my culturally diverse community.
Tomorrow is Boy’s Day, or Tango no Sekku. It’s a day celebrated by many in Hawaii, regardless of ethnic background. Perhaps the local tradition differs from the true Japanese way, but just being familiar with customs like this is what makes Hawaii so cool.
Growing up, I remember my mom dragging the “musha-ningyo“, or Japanese warrior dolls, out of the closet and displaying them on a bright red cloth. I watched my dad take out the koi-nobori, or flying carp and hoist it up the long pole that we used to string firecrackers on every New Year. My grandma would make kashiwa-mochi. (I never thought that was fair, either. Kashiwa-mochi tastes better than the traditional sekihan made for Girl’s Day!) In school, the boys would get to eat lunch first, and the teachers always told us girls to be nice to them.
When I went to Japan, I found things to be quite similar. I realized more and more how fortunate I was to have grown up in a culturally strong family. My friends and colleagues in Japan would comment that I was “more Japanese than they were.” Sometimes I’d picture my great-grandma on her long journey to Hawaii. Although she probably had but a small bag of personal belongings, she brought with her the “Japanese way”-something infinitely more precious and meaningful.
Working with Japanese people has reminded of how lucky I really am. They are constantly surprised at the things people do in Hawaii. They would have never imagined that they would see koi-nobori at Boy’s Day, or find special treats and displays at the local Shirokiya store.
I have promised myself to learn about and teach my children our Japanese heritage. I’d like to visit Japan again someday, but in the meantime, I need to make sure a part of it is always here in Hawaii.
Susan Sensei’s English Lesson #28（スーザン先生の英語講座 その28）
For two years I taught English in Japan, and was “スーザン先生” to my students in Ikaho town, Gunma Prefecture. I will try and introduce new words and phrases for the Japanese visitor to Hawaii. Here is this week’s situation:
◆ “To Hawaiian Waikiki Beach Hotel, please.”
アラモアナセンターの停留所は、センターの海側にあります。ワイキキではアウトリガー・アイランダー、ワイキキ交番、ハワイアン・ワイキキビーチホテル、アウトリガーウェスト、ロイヤルハワイアン通り、ヒルトン・ハワイアンビレッジ に停まるので、最寄りの停留所で降りてください。Have a nice trip!
|Loco Girl’s Profile（ロコ・ガールのプロフィール）
Born in Hilo, I grew up going fishing with Dad, shopping with Mom, and trying to be a good “big sister” to a younger sister and brother. A Waiakea High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa alumni, I taught English in Japan for two years on the JET Program, and am now employed at PacRim Marketing Group, Inc. I love doing a lot of things-shopping, reading, lettering, making jewelry & crafts, watching Friends-and that’s just the start of my list! I like being busy, and am active with the JET Alumni Association (JETAA) and the Honolulu Junior Japanese Chamber of Commerce (HJJCC.) My family and friends are, of course, very important to me, and are why I live a very typical, happy, local-style life in Hawaii and will never leave!