Indian Influence In Hawaii

Ria Sappal

English 100

15 December 2016

Indian Influence In Hawaii

Curry, jewelry, colors, dancing, Bollywood and tradition; Some of the many aspects of Indian culture. This culture is full of history and I learn and fall in love with it more everyday. Although Indians make up a huge percentage of the world, there is a very small portion that reside in Hawaii. Hawaii is mostly made of Asians and Hawaiians. With the small percentage of Indians in Hawaii, is a tight knit Indian community. This community shares the Indian culture through their everyday lives both direct and indirectly. This adds to the diversity of our already highly diverse island. One of the great things about Hawaii is we have every part of the world on our small Island. You can learn so much just from talking to different people you meet or by places you go. Hawaii’s small percentage of Indians really adds to the diversity of the island in many different ways

Indian food makes up a lot of Indias culture, and has a lot of significance. (Kam S. Grandma) There are many different Indian recipes thats are ancient and have a lot of value to them. They have been passed on for generations and are loved by many. (Converging Media) You can find these dishes in the very few restaurants on this island. It is so special when others try Indian food because it is like they are taking a bite into the Indian culture. You really get a good sense of what India is about just by eating the food. It’s important to be open to all ethnic food because each is so special and tells a little about the culture. My families favorite Indian restaurant in Hawaii is Maharani. It is the next best Indian food to my grandmas cooking. We try to bring our friends and family to this restaurant when we are feeling Indian food. Almost everyone that eats Indian food instantly falls in love with it. Like a lot of other asian cuisine, there are lots of spices and seasoning. Asian food usually blends with each other, which Indian food does but is taken to a different level. The Indian cuisine here in Hawaii really adds to the over Indian culture in Hawaii, and plays a big role as well because it gets other involved with the culture.

Another huge part of the Indian culture is the celebration of Diwali. Diwali is Christmas in India. It is celebrated on November 4. In Hawaii there is always a huge celebration in Ala Moana beach ballroom. This celebration is a very big one and almost every Indian and their families attend it. The room is filled with color and music and happy vibes. This is the most important holiday in India so it is cool it is celebrated here in Hawaii as well. During this celebration, there are a lot of performances, food and prayers. I participated in a performance a few years ago doing the dance called “Dandia” it is a dance that involved hitting these stick instruments together as you more. It is a super graceful dance and has been part of the Indian tradition for many years. My aunt taught it to a group of us and it was a big hit at the performance. It is cool that there are a lot of traditions shown at the ceremony because it exposes the Indian culture to others who may not be familiar with it.

There is a lot of temples and architutcture here, and most of it comes from Japanese and Indian influence. (Research and Creativity) The Taj Mahal in Indian is one of the seven wonders of the world because it is a temple made entirely of marble. It was built thousands of years ago so Indians do have some idea about architecture and have brought it to Hawaii. This is so important because we have many famous building here and a lot of them wouldn’t be as great as they are without the minds of Indians behind the design.

A lot of these iconic buildings are Buddhist and Hindu temples. (Ethnic diversity in Hawaii) Being that Buddhism and Hinduism are one of the hugest religions in the world, Indians have also brought it to Hawaii. (HawaiiHistory) Buddhism and Hinduism are the two most popular religions in India so it has spread a lot around the world. There is a fair amount of Buddhist and Hindus in Hawaii considering the population. This is one of the greatest ways the Indians stay connected with each other, by attending church. It creates a very tight nit loving community. The people that attend grow together and spread their love amongst others. Indians have very strong beliefs and values, some of the strongest in the world. They have brought and instilled some of that in Hawaii’s community.

Majority of the population in Hawaii is Asian which is why Hawaii is surrounded by so much asian influence. Indian is asian, although you see less influence in Hawaii than the other asian cultures. The reason for this simply being that there aren’t very many Indian citizens in Hawaii. If there were more Indians, there would be a lot more in Hawaii that is Indian related. Although there is such little influence, the influence there is, is very impactful. Hawaii wouldn’t be Hawaii without the diverse cultural influence it has from around the world.

Works Cited

“Hawaii Is Diverse, But Far From A Racial Paradise.” NPR. NPR, n.d. Web. 15 Dec. 2016. <;.

“Interview with Grandma.” Personal interview. 10 Oct. 2016.

Parts, E. Major, and A U C T U S // Vcu’S Journal Of Undergraduate Research And Creativity // Sosci. The Effect of Hawaii’s Vast Diversity on Racial and Social Prejudices (n.d.): n. pag. Web.

Pavlik, John V., and Shawn McIntosh. Converging Media: A New Introduction to Mass Communication. New York: Oxford UP, 2011. Print.

PreparetoServe. “Ethnic Diversity in Hawaii.” YouTube. YouTube, 30 Apr. 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2016. <>.


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