The Surprising Connection Between Hawaii & Hindustani Classical Music

Hawaii was the 50th state to join the United States of America and this group of islands is known the world over for its beaches and lush scenery. Not many would connect Hawaii to something as distant as Hindustani Classical music and yet, Hawaii, particularly Honolulu, is the birth place of the slide guitar. The slide guitar is widely used in both the western world and Indian classical music and was invented by Hawaiian Joseph Kekuku. This instrument has origins in the steel guitar which Kekuku took a fancy to while he was in school in Honolulu. The man who is credited with pioneering the Hawaiian slide guitar in Hindustani music, Pandit Brij Bhushan Kabra, modified it to play Indian raags. Pt Kabra passed away this year in April, having inspired a whole new generation of artistes to continue this musical connection.

If you are in Honolulu, here are a few things you shouldn’t miss:

Every evening at the International Market Place, there is a free Hula Show, an upbeat dance performance, at 6:30 p.m. HST– an ideal way to get into the Hawaiian spirit and also to immerse yourself in local culture.

The fact that Hawaii only joined the United States as recently as 1959 is evident in the splendorous Iolani Palace in Honolulu. The palace was the royal residence of the rulers of Hawaii till it became a US state. Built in the early 19th century, the American-Florentine architecture of this palace is a sight to behold for those with an interest in design and history.

The one thing you simply must do in Honolulu is eat your heart out – the freshest seafood, the latest trendy foods like poke bowls, the most scrumptious fruits (especially the pineapples) await the gourmand in this food-obsessed city!




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