Hawaii Island

Put a Little “Shaka” in Your Hawaii Vacation

It was one of the first things that President-Elect Barack Obama did when he arrived in Hawaii. Local residents do it when they’re driving or hanging out with friends. It’s the common gesture that’s known as the “shaka” sign. Throughout the generations, various stories have been told to explain the origins of the shaka sign, with some dating back to the plantation days in Hawaii. The meaning can differ from one local to another; however, it remains a gesture of thanks, understanding, and the aloha spirit of Hawaii.

How to “Shaka”:

  • Extend the thumb and pinky finger.
  • Keep the three middle fingers (index, middle, and ring) curled.
  • Face the back of the hand towards the person that is being greeted.
  • Give a little shake with a smile.

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