This is a picture from my morning walk the other day.
What is it?
Tiki culture is the appropriation and exploitation of several cultures. While mostly Hawaiian culture, tiki culture doesn't steer away from ripping from any culture it can to create a White- washed-pineapple-topped mash-up monster for profit. Think of any place that has a resort or that one post of someone's cousin's "luau" baby shower (see below), that's tiki culture.
Each time it's participated in it dehumanizes so many.
Who sells it?
I do Uber Eats to pay my bills and often I come across restaurants who participate in tiki culture. The most recent being Hawaiian Bros Island Grill. Two White men founded a restaurant chain that touts Aloha, pineapples, surfboards and the Cheeseburger in Paradise playlist on repeat. Peak tiki culture. They acknowledge where they steal from on their website but I highly doubt any of the profit from this exploitation is returned to the communities and cultures being exploited. This monstrosity also makes sure to not note who the founders are because they know what they're doing.
Why couldn't these White men name it something else?
Why couldn't these White men use the funds to support local businesses?
Why couldn't these White men do something else entirely?
Because they know tiki culture sells and that other White people love it.
Hawaiian, Sāmoan, Polynesian and other cultures don't exist for exploitation and appropriation. Stop supporting this crap. And as always don't go to Hawai'i.
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