Hawaii is poised to make the ‘shaka’ its official state gesture

July 15, 2024 |
Reported by Praveena Somasundaram
For decades, Hawaii residents have used the “shaka” hand gesture to convey several greetings — hello, goodbye, thank you and aloha.

Now the shaka, which involves extending the thumb and pinkie finger while curling the others down, is on its way to becoming Hawaii’s official gesture.

State lawmakers last week passed a measure that would recognize Hawaii as the shaka’s birthplace, though there are competing theories on the gesture’s origins. While different groups in Hawaii interpret the shaka differently, the bill states that it has been used across the state for “sharing aloha, fostering connection and being pono,” or living righteously.

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