This Saturday April 12th I had the pleasure of attending a party for the Cambodian New Year. It was an eclectic group of people gathered to celebrate Khmer food, dance, music and culture. While the Cambodian community here in Hawaii is small, they are an important part of our island.

Looking around the event, there were monks, families with children and seniors, all types of people. It got me thinking about how multi-cultural the state of Hawaii is. And it is that blending of cultures that makes Hawaii so unique and unlike any other place.

Have a look as you drive around and you will see a true melting pot of images and activities; Buddhist and Mormon temples, people performing martial arts and hula in the parks right along archery and tennis. Where else can you have a shave ice, SPAM musubi and amazing Greek and Thai food all in the same neighborhood? I think it is those contrasts that make Hawaii so interesting and a great pace to live. The mix of cultures and traditions of many different places converging on our island grants residents and tourists alike the opportunity to try new foods and experience things outside our own personal culture.

Now I am not advocating that you try something totally extreme like scorpions or monkey brains, but having an open mind and trying new things makes us more receptive to new experiences which are vital to better understanding one another. A vacation is the best time to be flexible and try something new. Whether it is art, music or food I encourage you to try at least one new island treat while in Hawaii. So in closing I leave you with something new I learned this weekend aloha and “soowa sdey chenam tmey” that’s Cambodian for Happy New Year.

(Images By Star Bulletin)


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