Update to the Mr. Yoo saga

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Okay, I’ll admit it, the Mr. Yoo saga might not be much of a saga. The last few days have yielded absolutely no Yoo sightings so I have no proof of his exhibitionism that I mentioned in the last blog on the subject. Sadly, despite some certain goading, I’ve heard nothing from his domicile.

I had cast some bait in the form of a letter to the editor. I wrote it on the second and it was published the Sunday after. Thus far, no bite. At least not yet. I might need to assure somehow that he reads the letter.

If you’re interested, you can go check out the slightly edited version online. Aside from inserting an unnecessary comma, removing a couple words and messing up an instance of subject-verb agreement, changing city to county in reference to ordinances (I intentionally used city because that’s specifically what the neighbor said, neglecting that Maui has a county government), and editing out a beloved semi-colon, the published version isn’t that much more exciting–it’s only The Maui News.

But for those of you deciding you’d rather not click the link to mauinews.com or who would like to compare versions, I’ve included the original text:

Speaking as a mainland-born, yet long-time resident familiar with Hawai’i’s local culture, I can attest that not being local can present special challenges for those trying to adapt.

Regardless of the complexities of the cultural tension, there are things that those unfamiliar with the local culture can do to ease tensions and reduce the alienation of themselves or others. The International Herald Tribune ran an article on Nyamko Sabuni, Sweden’s controversial Minister for Integration and Gender Equalize that highlighted her blunt advice to immigrants (Jan. 12, 2006). Speaking as an expatriate herself and aiming to reduce the de facto alienation that immigrants face in a new culture, she urges immigrants to Sweden to “make an effort to adapt to the society where they live.”

It was run-in on New Year’s Eve reminded me of this issue. Friends and family had gathered at my Sprecklesville home to set off fireworks when a neighbor, taking issue with the practice, celebrated with outright lying about city ordinances and by threatening to call the Police—not the way I’d choose to ring in the new year. Hawai’i provides a cultural melange that makes it nearly impossible to embrace every tradition; a common thread, though, is the Aloha Spirit. Swearing at neighbors, lying, and threatening to call the police is not the Aloha Spirit. Subscribing to the Aloha Spirit can do wonders to help one integrate into the local culture and to not put one at odds with others. Maybe once we can handle that, we can start making amends that are long past due.

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