The Best Hawaiian Souvenirs: Etiquette of Gifting in Hawaii

The Best Hawaiian Souvenirs: Etiquette of Gifting in Hawaii

June 25, 2024

The culture of giving and receiving gifts is not taken lightly in Hawaiian culture. Gifts are not merely material objects but reflect values like respect, love, and kindness. Many tourists buy random gifts from Hawaii to take home and gift close ones back home. But in Hawaiian culture, a gift is more than a formality. People who live in Hawaii or have tried to understand their culture will know Hawaiian island gifts are an emblem of a deep connection.

So, if you are visiting Hawaii or are a resident, you must know the etiquette of giving and receiving gifts. This article will explore the same and help you mingle better with the local people.

Etiquette of Giving Gifts

Etiquette of Giving Gifts


While you may think buying just about any wrapping paper would do, that’s not true for Hawaii. Hawaiians pay a lot of attention to how the gift has been treated before handing it over. Untidily wrapped gifts are often interpreted as a lack of respect. So whenever you plan to gift a Hawaiian, make sure it’s wrapped well and decorated with flowers or other decorative items.


The ‘aloha’ spirit is not just about fashion and greetings. It is their way of life, and your gift should reflect that. The aloha spirit is closely related to sincerity, which should shine through your gift.


Thoughtfulness is integral to gifting etiquette anywhere in the world, especially in Hawaii. Any random gift does not count as a thoughtful gift. But if you have picked a gift considering the other person’s preferences and interests, it is regarded as a great gift.

Respect for Customs 

Hawaii has beautiful, unique customs, and the people are extremely proud of them. Never show disrespect towards their culture and customs when presenting gifts. Make sure you pick items that do not hurt their sentiments.

Similar Link: The Best Hawaii Souvenirs You Should Check Out When Visiting the Island

Etiquette of Receiving Gifts 


Whenever a Hawaiian friend gifts you, make sure you show them the gratitude you feel. Coldness in your tone can make you look bad. So, you should always be vocal about why you love the gift and what it means. If you are not good with words, simple gestures like a friendly nod and words like ‘thank you’ will also do.


Givers always expect you to respect the gift they have given. Hawaiians put in a lot of effort when choosing a gift and thus hope you will appreciate it. A gift is not merely a physical object but an extension of the relationship and bond two people share. By showing respect for the gift, you reciprocate the goodwill; thus, being sensitive in such cases is essential.

Best Hawaiian Souvenirs to Take Home

If you plan to take home a bit of Hawaiian culture, ditch random things, pick items that mean something, and stand for the culture. We have shortlisted 5 meaningful Hawaiian souvenirs that make great memories and act as thoughtful gifts for your friends and family.

Hawaiian Lei

Lei is the eternal symbol of Hawaii and represents its spirit and culture very well. You can find this iconic gift in several shops throughout the state. They are made of leaves, shells, or nuts. If you plan to preserve one as a memoir, buy one made of more durable material.

Hula Dolls

Hula dolls are great Hawaiian souvenirs. You can keep them on the dashboard of your car or at home. These dolls are so cute and capture the colors of Hawaii exceptionally well.

Aloha Shirts

Aloha shirts are unique, versatile, and widely available in various patterns and colors.

Hawaii is a center of excellence when it comes to craft and art. Many talented artists make the best quilts and wood carvings from scratch. They also make great souvenirs; this way, you also help the local people trying to keep their culture alive through art and craft.

Graceful Hawaiian figurines make great gift items. They come in different shapes and sizes. You can find them at local shops or online.

Final Words 

Gifts are a serious matter in Hawaii, as they should be. So, follow the above mentioned etiquette next time you give gifts to your loved ones. The same goes for receiving them.


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