It is important to respect, acknowledge, and include place-based, culture-based, and culturally-relevant readings for courses. Including readings that accurately represent communities that students are familiar with engages and empowers students and enhances their knowledge of rich, culturally diverse literature. Students identify with issues and places relevant to their lives and communities, and students feel that their identities and traditions are important and respected. Many students are interested in literature from multiple cultures and places, including Hawai‘i.
Hawai‘i is the most diverse state in the United States. In Hawai‘i’s past, people from many nations immigrated to work on the plantations. To communicate with each other, people speaking multiple languages used words from English and Hawaiian (the standard and official languages of Hawai‘i), as well as various immigrant languages, creating Pidgin, which evolved into Hawai‘i Creole English (still known as Pidgin today). Pidgin is now a language acknowledged by the U.S. Census. It is common for Hawai‘i residents to code-switch between English and Pidgin, as it is for people in other nations to code-switch between their language and English.
Included are some online resources for place-based and culture-based readings and videos. There are many place-based and culture-based sources. Listed below are a few examples. Students are encouraged to seek more sources, and many faculty, librarians, and staff are eager to contribute more place-based and culture-based sources.