Pidgin: Dialect of English Spoken on the Hawaiian Islands


Pidgin is a dialect of English spoken in the Hawaiian Islands. It
consists of the shortening of many words commonly used in everyday English
speech. Some examples include, da (the), odda (other), Tre (meaning tree and
three), bra (anyone you know), da kine (anything you don\'t know), cus (any
friend), and many others. Pidgin has it\'s social barriers as well. It is
primarily spoken in the lower class neighborhoods consisting of the Hawaiians
and the Filipinos. The dialect has been associated with the members of these
neighborhoods and their problems, such as, alcoholism, illiteracy, and a poor
standard of living. I come from a diverse family background, my mother is
Scottish, English, Italian, French, and much more. My father is part Hawaiian
and part Scottish. Being such I have to choose which lifestyle is right for me.
There is a tug-a-war between the Hawaiian part of me and the Haole part of me.
The two cultures that I consider myself, Scottish and Hawaiian, are both proud,
interesting, and contain their own prescriptions toward behavior. The pidgin
dialect is a major part of life in the lower class Hawaiian neighborhoods. For
most children in these neighborhoods it is the language spoken at home. The
other people of the islands look at this dialect as a sign of a poor education
and up-bringing. My mother did not want her son associated with such a group of
individuals.
When I started school at Maunawili School and began to pick up Pidgin
and start to speak it at home she took it upon herself to change me. At this
time she was teaching sixth grade at Keolu Elementary. She saw how her kids
could not speak proper English, only Pidgin. Many of them also wrote in Pidgin,
something I had begun to do. My mother saw this behavior and forced me to
change. My parents put me in Punahou School, one of the best private schools in
the nation, to facilitate this change. It may seem that she did not want me to
grow up proud of my Hawaiian heritage, but that is far from the truth. She
taught me to respect the culture for its beautiful aspects, the hula, and the
Hawaiian Language. My father taught me about the ain\'a (land). He showed me
how the Hawaiians of yesterdays believed the ain\'a to be the physical
representation of their beliefs in their gods. He showed me Pele\'s (the fire
goddess) home in Kilauea volcano, then her wrath when the lava from her vents
destroyed many homes in Pu\'u O\'o and many other exciting aspects of the culture.
I was told to keep with the traditions that make me unique, both Hawaiian and
Haole.

Category: Social Issues