Hand Gestures—Local Style!
The shaka is a ubiquitous hand gesture that has become closely associated with the Aloha Spirit. It is a symbol that communicates understanding and fellowship and used to say hello, thank you, take care, goodbye, and most often, as a general expression of the laidback local lifestyle. Impossible to miss, this popular hand motion is made by simply extending your pinky finger and thumb, while curling the middle three fingers inward toward the palm. Extend the hand and motion as if waving. In traditional sign language, the gesture is one way to signify surfing, which coincides with some theories that it originated among surfers to signal waters free of sharks or that “everything’s all right.” When in Hawai‘i, don’t be surprised to see the shaka in everyday use—it has become a gesture that truly encompasses the spirit of the islands.