So Many Uses For The Hawaiian Slippah
If you wear flip-flops, you probably think they're just to wear on your feet. But Hawaiians, who call 'em Slippahs, have found much better uses for them.
There's no great or more convenient cockroach (or other bug) whapper. And when the kids in the neighborhood all get together to play kickball or baseball, they've always got more than enough bases. Long before boogie boards were mainstream in Hawaii, you'd see rubber slippers tearing up the shorebreak. Bodysurfers would hold a slipper in their extended hand to help them plan along the face of a wave. That old fad was revived in 2010 during Da Hui Waimea Bea Shorebreak Slam, a bodysurfing competition that included a Kanaka Style Rubbah Slippah Handboard Division. One guy wore huge ones, like a size 14, which went from his wrist to his elbow. The guy who won used a small size that fit right into his hand. He probably took them off his daughter's feet right before the event.
To Hawaiian's the slippah is like a plant grown in a pot. A foot raised in a slippah grows wider, stronger and more dexterous. A local girl raised in slippahs might never find a pair of high heels to fit her "big feet", but she can probably pick up her car keys with her toes. Sure the American Podiatric Medical Association issues dire warnings of the trauma and pathologic abnormalities associated with flip-flops (their word!), but for so many of the slippah-loving people of Hawaii, dealing with twisted ankles, stubbed toes, fallen arches and plantar toes are not match for the freedom of the foot the slippah provides. The slippah promises happy fee, and let's face it: if your feet aren't happy, you're not happy!
Sure, not everyone loves this type of footwear. The rapper DMX once declared: "Thugs don't do flip-flops. Yo, no matter how much vacation I'm on....I don't wear no flip-flops. I'm never that comfortable, ever, not even in my own house!" Hip-hop ain't down with the flip-flop.
No everyone will be a slippah lover, but as dress codes have grown more casual you'll find the slippah worn and accepted as everyday footwear. What has long been the norm in Hawaii -- where nobody thinks twice about a slippah in a restaurant, at a wedding, in the workplace -- is spreading through the rest of the world. But even in Hawaii there are limits. Take doctors. According to a Hawaii Medical Journal survey of patient attitudes towards physician attire, a small majority (57%) prefer that their doctor not be in slippahs when seeing them. The patients also preferred their doctor not wear a white lab coat, either, so they want a little formality, just not too much.
So where do you wear your slippahs? What uses have you found for them. Share the Aloha Spirit and your stories. Mahalo!
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