Culture & Traditions


“The opportunity that Hawai’i offered, to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect, became an integral part of my worldview and a basis for the values I hold most dear.”  

President Barack Obama

The first settlers of Hawaii were Polynesian seafarers who brilliantly navigated thousands of miles of open seas in double hulled canoes to find a new homeland.  Today, people who find their way to these magical shores are seeking a similar utopian vision for a new home as they become a part of the unique interracial, intercultural human environment that is Hawai’i’s gift to the world. 

The host Hawaiian culture thrives at Haleakala Waldorf School, with its students well versed in ancient chants and protocol, as well as beloved songs of the islands.  Festivals are strong, communal events, with experienced trained teachers leading the way.  Families often build their lives around the activities of the school, socializing together as well as contributing to their children’s education.

The Aloha spirit runs deep, which means that people from Hawaii are always willing to offer friendship and assistance when needed with a healthy helping of patience and empathy. Hawaii is also one of the happiest places to live in America, coming in as the second happiest state, according to a Gallup survey.

The ancient culture of Hawaii permeates the atmosphere of the islands, and there is a great deal of emphasis placed on respecting the importance of Hawaiian history and on honoring the living culture of Hawaii. Over the years, the islands have also become a bit of a melting pot. As a result, people from Hawaii tend to be more accepting of other cultures, values, and ideas. Indeed, many cultures weave together in Hawaii—Hawaiian, Filipino, Chinese, Tongan, Korean, English, Canadian, Okinawan, Brazilian, Portuguese, Italian, German, and many many more—creating a richly diverse tapestry of ethnicity.