How come I was not invited?

Carolyn Hisako Okinaga,
Honolulu, HI.

I asked this question when I was growing up on Ewa Plantation. Ethnic groups were housed in separate villages on the plantation based on race and position, e.g., Filipinos laborers lived in Fernandez Village, Japanese in B Village, etc. All of the caucasian (“haole”) supervisors/bosses lived in Renton Village; they had their own swimming pool and park. Since my father was a mid-level supervisor but of Japanese ancestry, we lived in Pepper Row which housed other mid-level supervisors of Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian and Portuguese ancestry. We literally lived between the haoles and the other races. I could play with the haole kids on the weekends because of my dad’s position but during the week, they went to Punahou and I went to the public school and spoke “pidgin English” to be accepted by my classmates who spoke the same. One day while playing in the haole park, my playmate was called home by her mother. I stuck around only to see other haole kids armed with birthday presents troop to her house. I went home in tears to ask my mother that question.

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