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By Petra Leilani Akwai

                           Let's all get up and dance to a song that was a hit before your
                          mother was born
                           Though she was born a long, long time ago
                           Your mother should know
                           Your mother should know
                          -- The Beatles

In the mid-Sixties, a lot of Moku Honu college kids would sign up just for the U.H. summer semester (a phenomenon cutesified in Advertiser and Star-Bulletin headlines as "the co-ed invasion"). For the intellectually curious among them, the U.H. organized a program of special bus tours educating riders about various aspects of the city from an academic point of view.

The colonial mentality pervading the school system here had presented Hawaiians with a mirror in which all things Atlantic, Western and Christian were reflected in exquisite detail, but we ourselves were invisible. The U.H. bus tours were therefore highly informative for us locals as well. My brother and I took the "Sosh" tour (sociology of Honolulu) one summer and were rewarded with many fascinating revelations about our home- town which we were hearing for the very first time.

One such item concerned the planning of Waikiki as it is today. It seems that when the Ala Wai Canal was built, the Americans were seriously worried about the possibility of civil disorders endangering the wellbeing of tourists (or perhaps just disrupt- ing their opportunities to party). So the canal was intentionally designed as a moat isolating Waikiki from the rest of Honolulu. Connected to the city proper by only three "drawbridges", the Waikiki strip is easy to cordon off and defend militarily against hordes of disgruntled locals.

"Well, well," I thought. "So our government thinks we might rise up against all this someday. Now why on earth would we want to do that? If the military and the bigwigs consider the possibility seriously enough to factor it into their most elementary decisions though, there must be very good reasons. With all the secrets they have access to, they would know better than anyone else, wouldn't they?

"Dang it, we local Orientals are such na´ve flag-wavers when it comes to politics! Go to church, be an A-student -- and somehow I get the feeling I don't really have a clue. Do the teachers, the older

folks in my family --? I mean heck, they lived through the war, martial law, all of that but you know they never tell us anything. "-- I'm going to have think this over for a good long while."

Copyright (c) 2000 by Petra Leilani Akwai. All Rights Reserved.


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Central Asia

Tibetan antelope now
protected worldwide
(World Tibet News)

Ethnic Kazakhs of
Russia to get
(Times of Central Asia)

East Asia

Summit between Koreas
delayed by one
(Korea Herald)

Japan, U.S. back
S. Korea's Pyongyang
(Korea Herald)

Pacific Islands

Bougainville rebels deny
raid on Gizo
(The National)

Army apologizes to

South Asia

Lanka claims 11
rebels killed
(Times of India)

Rajesh Pilot did
his best for
peace in J&K
(The Asian Age)

Southeast Asia

Army says 10
MILF camps have

Low voter turnout
in Thai Senate
(Bangkok Post)


Copyright 1999


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