Hawaii/Hawaiian Funerals

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Question
Hi!

I'm doing a school project and I was wondering if you could answer a few questions relating to my topic.

1. Order of event on day of funeral

2. Any rituals which are unique or semi-unique to Hawaii

3. What a Hawaiian funeral looks like. eg. decorations, attire

Thanks for reading and maybe even answering!

Answer
Aloha Freya,

Here I am from sunny Honolulu answering your questions:


1. Order of event on day of funeral

Since Hawaii has many different ethnicities/religions/cultures combined, there is no "real order of events" for funerals in Hawaii. I have attended funerals where people went to church first, then to the cemetery, I have seen families sitting around the casket and having a picnic. Sometimes there is a Hula dancer or a person playing the ukulele, it really depends on the family and their traditions.
Hawaiians in general prefer to celebrate "life" instead of "death" so they often make the funeral into a party even though people mourn and cry. But it becomes a celebration of life.

2. Any rituals which are unique or semi-unique to Hawaii

One thing we do here is often we paddle out into the ocean and scatter the ashes of the deceased while everyone is sitting in a canoe or even surfboard around and just sings and holds hands. That is definitely a Hawaiian tradition.

3. What a Hawaiian funeral looks like. eg. decorations, attire

Again the decorations vary from culture to culture. Most people don't wear black but come often in white, and bring flowers. Often Aloha attire is what the family wants, meaning flower patterns, even colorful ones are ok.
It also depends on the season and which flowers are in bloom, so it can be plumeria, ginger or others people bring and make lei (garlands) from.


Hope all this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions and hello to New Zealand (spring over there I presume)

Malia  

Hawaii

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Malia

Expertise

Aloha, I can answer I would say about 99 % of all questions relating to Hawai`i.

Experience

I work for tour agencies as a tour guide so have a wonderful island experience especially from the view of travelers and newcomers to the islands. I am also a high school language teacher.

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