January 23, 2022
Hawaii or Hawaii (/a.waj/; Hawaiian: Hawai'i, pronounced /ha.ˈvaj.ʔi/; English: Hawaii, pronounced /hə.ˈwaɪ.(j)i/) is a state in the United States . Consisting of an archipelago of 137 islands, it is the only American state located outside the North American continent, since it is located in Oceania, and one of the two non-contiguous American states, with Alaska . The eight main islands are Niihau, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui, the island of Hawaii and Oahu, where the capital Honolulu is located. The archipelago is part of Polynesia and is located in the central North Pacific Ocean, 3,718 kilometers south of the Alaska Peninsula, 3,792 kilometers west-southwest of Punta Gorda, on the California coast, and 5,713 kilometers east of the island of Hokkaido in Japan. In addition, it is the 50th and last state to be admitted to the Union, on August 21, 1959. The variety of its landscapes, marked in particular by very active volcanism (Hualālai, Kīlauea, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa), a Humid tropical climate and an endemic natural heritage, make it a popular destination for both tourists and scientists. The archipelago had been inhabited by Polynesian peoples for several centuries when the British explorer James Cook arrived in 1778, who named it the Sandwich Islands. The islands were unified into a kingdom around 1810 by Kamehameha I, who founded a dynasty that lasted until 1893. He was succeeded by an ephemeral Republic of Hawaii (1894-1898) and the territory of Hawaii, created during the annexation of the archipelago by the United States. In December 1941, the island of Oahu was the scene of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The territory was dissolved in 1959 when Hawaii became the 50th US state. It has just over 1,410,000 inhabitants in 2020, mainly in the urban area of Honolulu. The population is made up of many ethnic groups, mainly of Asian origin (Filipinos, Japanese). Native Hawaiians now make up 22% of the population. Located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii mixes many cultural influences, between North American and Asian contributions, and its own ancestral culture. Close to Polynesian and Maori cultures, it remains very active, especially around musical traditions. Hawaiian music, played primarily on Hawaiian guitar and ukulele, was popularized around the world by Sol Hoopii and later singer Iz. The Hawaiian way of life is also spreading with the practice of surfing and the local spirituality, Hoʻoponopono. Its two large national parks (Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Haleakalā National Park) and its many beaches make it a major tourist destination. With a Democratic tradition, Hawaii is the birthplace of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.