Crossing international borders: Okinawans, festivals, and representation in Hawaii
The colors guard stepped out in time as they moved down Kalakaua Avenue. They were followed by the Navy band in their navy whites, playing a rousing version of the Star Spangled Banner. The rest of the parade fell into step behind them, given their marching orders by volunteer parade marshals. Labor Day weekend is a busy time for parades in Hawaii, as is the New Year, President's Week, and the Chinese New Year, and this year's Hawaiian United Okinawa Association's parade was one of the bigger parades. The half dozen red convertibles, carrying congressmen, governors, mayors, other politically important people, and, of course, beauty queens, drove off at snail's pace, their occupants' faces etched with their best public smiles. Behind the cars came one of the organizers of the parade, The World Uchinanchu Business Association, with their banner bearing the words, "Aloha, Mensore, Haisai" (Welcome, Welcome, Welcome). Carrying the banner was a group of small, bearded1 Okinawan-American men in white, yellow or purple polo shirts, dark shorts, and loafers: standard casual wear for Hawaiian businessmen.