Hawaiian culture is quite unique and distinctive from any other state or country. Historically part of Polynesia, Hawaii changed remarkably from other Pacific Islands after the "discovery" of Hawaii by traders. Hawaii now has strong Japanese and Portugese influence that mixed with its native Hawaiian background and proximity to Asia gives Hawaii a vibrant culture. Hawaii has its own music, traditions, foods-from slack key guitar and the ukulele to poi (a form of mashed taro) and kalua pork.
Hawaii also has its own language Hawaiian `Olelo. In the Hawaiian language there is no "U" - the long vowel "YOU" sound. So, to say ukulele as (YOU ka lay lee) is incorrect. Even though the letter U is part of the Hawaiian alphabet, along with A E I and O, in proper Hawaiian it is pronounced "oo," like oolong tea or ooze.
Hawaii is the American Tahiti Just why the Hawaiian Islands are so interesting is a function of their location in the mid-Pacific... more than 2200 miles in any direction is nothing...... no other land mass. It is bathed by the trans-equatorial currents which ensure clean pure seas and healthy life. The flowers and fruit bloom year round and the local produce are far reaching from corn to star fruit. March to May will see many native trees in full bloom and on the higher elevations wildflowers carpet the ground.
Situated over 1600 miles south of Midway Island, the "Big Island" of Hawaii is really part of Polynesia. Indeed, the Kona and Koala coasts sit at about the same latitude north of the equator as Papeetee, in Tahiti, sits south!