"Calabash Cousins" gains popularity as Obama slang term from Hawaii used in his graduation speech to class of 2009 at ASU. What did Pres. Obama say?
"I want to obviously congratulate the Class of 2009....you're your
unbelievable achievement. (Applause.) I want to thank the parents, the
uncles, the grandpas, the grandmas, cousins -- Calabash cousins --
everybody who was involved in helping these extraordinary young people
arrive at this moment."
So what are Calabash cousins? And why did Hawaii-born Obama use this term? Read on:
In Hawaii, a calabash is a large serving bowl. It is usually made from a hardwood, rather than from the Calabash Gourd as in Maroon cultures. It is used on a buffet table or in the middle of the dining table. The use of the calabash in Hawaii has led to terms like "Calabash Family" or "Calabash Cousins". It indicates that an extended family has grown up around shared meals and close friendships. Food is very important in modern Hawaiian culture. The expression "E komo mai - ''Come inside'', or ''WELCOME~!'' is a standard welcome to anyone approaching a home.
"E komo mai" means come inside, like welcome. Komo is to go inside or enter something and mai is something you say when you mean for the person to come toward you, in your direction. Like hele mai: come here.
Thanks for the correction Mr and Mrs Anon in comments below! Correction is better late than never. THANKS! -- danny in Taiwan
AND NOW YOU KNOW ......THE REST OF THE OBAMA STORY....