Big Island Polls

Big Island Now poll No. 53 results: Hawai‘i’s most important contribution to the world seems to be itself

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The results are in, and it’s not just one thing that is Hawai‘i’s most important contribution to the world. According to Big Island Now readers, it seems that it’s pretty much everything Hawai’i.

No one choice received a majority of votes in our most recent monthly poll, but the option garnering the most was “All or a combination,” with 337, or 29% of the total vote.

Other options ranged from aloha and volcanic and astronomical research to hula, musical talent, food and a few others. Adding up the votes, all of the choices garnered a total of 707 votes or 63%.

Combining them with the “All or a combination” option, 1,044 votes were cast, or 92%.


Some voters think Hawai‘i’s most important contribution to the world wasn’t on the list of choices, with 86 votes, or 7%, for “I think there’s something else that’s more important.”

“Yet to be determined,” commented Chucky Ventura on Facebook.

Art Injeyan, commenting in the same thread, added surfing to the mix.


“Our son grew up in Kona and now goes to Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., and is a kayak guide in the San Juan Islands,” wrote Mark Barville in an email. “He meets new people all the time, all kinds of people! People from every culture, every part of the world.”

Barville said his son works comfortably with Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest on replenishing watersheds and streams and embraces and enjoys people, never thinking about the superficial differences people sometimes make between each other.

“I think he got that from growing up in Hawai‘i,” the proud father wrote, adding the social aspect of the islands is one of their greatest contributions. “Everything you mentioned is important, but I feel like that is the most important! Hawai‘i is a microcosm of the world, and we make it work together out of aloha.”


Here are the full poll results.

  • All or a combination: 337 (29%)
  • Aloha. No explanation necessary: 299 (26%)
  • Volcanic and astronomical research. We got plenty volcanoes and it’s really dark way out here in the Pacific. Prime for both: 176 (15%)
  • I think there’s something else that’s more important: 86 (7%)
  • Hands down, hula. The Big Island hosts the world’s “Super Bowl of Hula” every year, it’s a no-brainer: 75 (6%)
  • Musical talent. We got Iam Tongi now, but who can forget Bruddah Iz, Bruno Mars, Jake Shimabukuro and all the other top-notch musicians from the islands? 51 (4%)
  • The shaka. And yes, 2024 should be “The Year of the Shaka” and state legislators should make it the official hand gesture of Hawai‘i: 36 (3%)
  • Island food. Who doesn’t love kalua pig, lilikoi butter, poke and loco moco? 33 (2%)
  • The people. Hawai‘i has a skilled force of construction workers, chefs, business owners and more. Heck, we even have world-class keiki bakers: 21 (1%)
  • The places. “Jurassic Park” wouldn’t be as good if it wasn’t filmed in Hawai‘i. We also have some pretty awesome national parks: 16 (1%)

Total votes: 1,130.

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