The 2002 Hawaiian Hula Dance Champion is of Norwegian descent.
Her name is Malia Ann Kawailanamalia – with Petersen on the end. “My grandfather was Norwegian,” she answered when we asked her about her Petersen name after seeing her dance the hula in Waikiki. Neither Malia’s father Craig, nor anyone else in the family knows much about her grandfather’s background, other than that he came to Hawaii from San Francisco. His name was Ernest and he was born on August 17, 1915. He died five years ago.
The family has not managed to find its Norwegian connection, but hope to learn more about it some day.
“Aloha from Forgotten Norwegians in Hawaii”