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Aloha shirts were out at APEC, but ikat is in at ASEAN

By Star-Advertiser staff and pool reports

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 05:09 p.m. HST, Nov 18, 2011


Aloha shirts were out at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit family photo in Hawaii.

But apparently members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are not as uptight.

Leaders of the 18 countries at the East Asia Summit following the ASEAN meeting posed for their family photo in Javanese traditional garb --  colorful ikat fabrics -- provided by Indonesia, this year's host country.

President Barack Obama joined in the photo. This is the first year that the U.S. and Russia were invited to join the summit meeting held in Bali, Indonesia.

Obama came out in a long-sleeve green shirt with orange, blue and red trim in a traditional pattern.

Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, did her University of Hawaii Ph.D. research on traditional crafts in Indonesia, including ikat fabrics. She also worked with women in Indonesia helping them set up small businesses involving traditional crafts like weaving and dying.

At the APEC meeting in Honolulu, President Obama broke with the tradition of APEC leaders posing for photos in costumes from the host country.

Instead of aloha shirts, the 21 APEC leaders all took to the photo platform in dark suits with individual tie selections, save for one: Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, who wore a white blazer over a reddish blouse.

There had been some speculation that aloha shirts would be scrapped to avoid the appearance of world leaders acting frivolously during a time of economic austerity.

Asked at a press conference about the decision, Obama said Sunday that leaders were given a aloha shirt, "and if they wanted to wear the shirt, I promise you it would've been fine. But I didn't hear a lot of complaints about us breaking precedent on that one."

Obama said he had looked at past family photo outfits, "and I thought, 'This may be a tradition that we might want to break.'" Leaders at last year's meetings, in Yokohama, Japan, also ditched traditional-style garb.






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Obama opts for local garb in Indonesia




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Tony91 wrote:
Truly and absolutely hilarious. The president sure looks unhappy in this photo. I guess it is o.k. for him to wear Indonesia national garb but not Hawaii’s....
on November 18,2011 | 06:37AM
Sunny wrote:
The APEC aloha shirt was drab and boring. A more colorful and vibrant shirt with reds, which Asian counties prefer would perhaps have been more favorably embraced by the APEC Leaders.
on November 18,2011 | 09:18AM
Pearlcityguy wrote:
It was not appropriate to wear Aloha shirt and lei in Hawaii last week, it is appropriate to wear Indonesian ikat in similar gathering 5 days later. Feels like Hawaii got slap in the face last week, then Obama came back 5 days later to slap the other side… just to show the slap last week was intentional.
on November 18,2011 | 10:14PM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Indonesia is a nation, and the risk of being swarmed by certain political factions, Hawaii is not.
on November 18,2011 | 09:58AM
serfboy wrote:
The APEC tradition of wearing the host country's native attire. I believe Aloha attire is not the US's native attire.
on November 18,2011 | 06:40AM
Tony91 wrote:
I have seen this argument prior and it is incorrect. The prior time APEC was hosted in the U.S., the leaders wore regional attire. In fact, the whole tradition started with President Clinton giving the leaders leather bomber jackets (I think they were in Seattle) in honor of the city’s aviation tradition. They did not wear suits at any other APEC venue except Japan last year. Furthermore Ikat tops are regional indonesian attire, not national indonesian attire.
on November 18,2011 | 06:51AM
WesleySMori wrote:
Amen SerfBoy. "AMEN"!!! Although, it would have been Nice for the Delegates to Wear it When Not in Conference. OH, Also they get to Take the SHIRTS home to SHOW!!! "GOD BLESS HAWAII & AMERICA"!!!
on November 18,2011 | 02:32PM
LanaUlulani wrote:
In other words President Obama and other APEC elitists do not respect the local people in Hawai'i which is a slap to the face for all those hard-working local people who were stuck in traffic for one to three hours sometimes more due to APEC coming to Hawai'i after President Obama invited them to come to Hawai'i. Ironically the Hawaiian Wanna Be, President Obama, purports to be "from Hawai'i" yet refused to wear an aloha shirt which is common with LOCAL people. What a slap to the face for the 70% of those who voted for him in Hawai'i.
on November 18,2011 | 07:05AM
Anonymous wrote:
I totally agree with LananUlulani, and what's with refusing our beasutiful flower leis
on November 18,2011 | 07:19AM
Halemaumau wrote:
A slap in the face to the Obama administration.
on November 18,2011 | 09:04AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Maybe that "slap" you talk about would resonate more if the comment came from someone who actually voted for President Obama.
on November 18,2011 | 10:00AM
bully106 wrote:
i so agree with lanaululani! the aloha shirt is BUSINESS wear here. for him to say "we're here for business" is ridiculous. and they all looked ridiculous in the beautiful backdrop of blue skies and blue ocean and swaying palm trees sweating in suits. good for the indonesians. and let me remind the white house, HAWAII hosted APEC. next time go to cincinnati!
on November 18,2011 | 10:15AM
Fred01 wrote:
Business wear for fools here maybe.
on November 18,2011 | 11:10AM
tutunona wrote:
I totally agree with LanaUlulani, but what's the deal with our beautiful and fragrant flower leis....
on November 18,2011 | 07:20AM
cojef wrote:
Maybe he is allergic to flowers, that is only HAwaiian.
on November 18,2011 | 08:22AM
stanislous wrote:
Yea, tutunona, That pretty well covers it.
on November 18,2011 | 07:23AM
smith2650 wrote:
This demonstrates that Obams thinks of himself ONLY and gives no thought to others including the Hawaii garment industry. This man is all image and no substance.
on November 18,2011 | 07:25AM
gamay wrote:
I can't believe people are still complaining about the Aloha shirts. Get over it and move on with life! There are more important things in life than being bitter about the 21 leaders not wearing the Aloha shirts. I can almost guarantee had they all worn the Aloha shirts, everyone would be complaining about that saying they should have worn something more business like or professional.
on November 18,2011 | 07:27AM
slink wrote:
I totally agree with what gamay wrote. Get over the aloha shirt. It was frustrating for a few minutes, then life goes on...to more important things. Perhaps I missed the coverage, but why I not heard or read praise of the fine job security did while APEC was ongoing? You can be sure that if a horrible incident had occurred, people would be criticizing Obama's choice to meet in Hawaii because of the lack of serious security, or the poor police force, or the inept communication between security forces. Job well done to those who protected the 21 leaders and their entourages!
on November 18,2011 | 07:48AM
LanaUlulani wrote:
NO. President Obama invited other other APEC elitists to come to Hawai'i inconveniencing LOCAL people. Many of them were STUCK in traffic for one hours. Some two hours or more. If they were late to WORK they could have been FIRED. The fact that President Obama REFUSED to wear an aloha shirt which is a SYMBOL of what local people often wear shows DISRESPECT TO LOCAL PEOPLE who HELPED HOST APEC ELITISTS after President Obama INVITED them to come to Hawai'i. Local people SHOULD be MAD. It is LOCAL PEOPLE who foot the bill with their hard earned money only to be slapped in the face!!!
on November 18,2011 | 08:19AM
bully106 wrote:
right again! obama dissed us. listen, i voted for him. i won't next time. he makes bad decisions and this is one that struck a chord at many of us. we all made a lot of sacrifices during apec... give hawaii its just accolades. wear the business aloha shirt AND lei and treat billions of people around the world to some beautiful shots of the conferees. Indonesia makes him look stupid. and he wants to be the leader of the world???? such a minor thing to some readers is really a testament to thinking... he really has become a bore!
on November 18,2011 | 04:21PM
BigOpu wrote:
Who cares what they wear...but those ikats are kind of cool looking.
on November 18,2011 | 07:31AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Totally agree with gamay, slink, and BigOpu---who cares? Oh yeah, I know the answer to that one---the people who "care" are the ones who criticize everything Obama does.
on November 18,2011 | 07:55AM
LanaUlulani wrote:
NO. It includes people who do not appreciate that President Obama DISRESPECTED LOCAL PEOPLE when he REFUSED to wear an ALOHA shirt which is what many LOCAL PEOPLE wear. This after President Obama INVITED other APEC elitists to come to Hawai'i which caused HARD-WORKING LOCAL PEOPLE to be STUCK IN TRAFFIC FOR one hour to TWO HOURS. If they were LATE TO WORK THEY COULD HAVE BEEN FIRED!!! President Obama dissed LOCAL PEOPLE. THAT IS THE POINT.
on November 18,2011 | 08:22AM
luvshawaii wrote:
He said he was the "hometown kid" when he was begging for dollars at the fundraiser where Obama idolizers came to worship. Some people will do anything to separate you from your hard earned taxable income.
on November 18,2011 | 08:34AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
Look, I'm a local person, born and raised here. I don't feel dissed by President Obama. As for being late to work, plenty of folks (me included) paid attention to all the advance warnings and left home early on days when there were going to be traffic problems. I think you need to take a deep breath and calm down
on November 18,2011 | 11:28AM
Imagen wrote:
I concur KekoaBradshaw.
on November 18,2011 | 11:49AM
DowntownGreen wrote:
Exactly.
on November 18,2011 | 10:02AM
aukai808 wrote:
"At the APEC meeting in Honolulu, President Obama broke with the tradition of APEC leaders posing for photos in costumes from the host country." The garb the leaders are wearing is from the country of Indonesia. I think people in Hawaii are really missing the point. In the past APEC leaders have posed in costumes of the host COUNTRY. Japan has hosted, the Philippines has hosted, South Korea has hosted, and this year, the United States hosted. In the past, APEC leaders wore the garb of the country. So you have to ask yourself, what is the costume of the host COUNTRY? Honolulu was the city in the country that hosted, but it was not the Country. If APEC had been held in San Francisco, would everybody have to wear tie-dye t-shirts...Cowboy hats in Dallas or Houston? If anything, APEC leaders should have worn Native American garb for the meeting in Honolulu. Aloha shirts really never fit the bill.
on November 18,2011 | 08:33AM
Tony91 wrote:
The last U.S. APEC they wore bomber jackers, in honor of Seattle's aviation history. The bomber jacket is not an official national dress of the U.S. The batik is more of a national dress than ikat. An aloha shirt would have been totally appropriate.
on November 18,2011 | 09:13AM
gamay wrote:
Your are exactly right aukai808! That is the same thing I was thinking when all the complaining started about the Aloha shirts. The United States is a melting pot of cultures, so it's difficult to choose what really represents the U.S. And if people want to be so technical, then the APEC leaders should have worn Native American attire, because they are the true founders of our country. I don't understand why everyone is still complaining about the APEC traffic as well! With or without APEC, we still have traffic people!!!! There are some who are still late to work just by being on Honolulu's congested roads on a normal day every single day they go to work.
on November 18,2011 | 09:31AM
gamay wrote:
Your are exactly right aukai808! That is the same thing I was thinking when all the complaining started about the Aloha shirts. The United States is a melting pot of cultures, so it's difficult to choose what really represents the U.S. And if people want to be so technical, then the APEC leaders should have worn Native American attire, because they are the true founders of our country. I don't understand why everyone is still complaining about the APEC traffic as well! With or without APEC, we still have traffic people!!!! There are some who are still late to work just by being on Honolulu's congested roads on a normal day every single day they go to work.
on November 18,2011 | 09:33AM
gamay wrote:
Your are exactly right aukai808! That is the same thing I was thinking when all the complaining started about the Aloha shirts. The United States is a melting pot of cultures, so it's difficult to choose what really represents the U.S. And if people want to be so technical, then the APEC leaders should have worn Native American attire, because they are the true founders of our country. I don't understand why everyone is still complaining about the APEC traffic as well! With or without APEC, we still have traffic people!!!! There are some who are still late to work just by being on Honolulu's congested roads on a normal day every single day they go to work.
on November 18,2011 | 09:33AM
Pohabutter wrote:
This obsession with world leader attire is tabloid drivel. Excuse me while I empty my stomach of its contents.
on November 18,2011 | 08:51AM
AniMatsuri wrote:
This is proof positive that the President really hates aloha wear. He'll dress up and bow in muslim clothes, ikats and other attire but never in an aloha shirt.
on November 18,2011 | 09:35AM
LizKauai wrote:
Beautiful! Wish we could have seen the aloha shirts too... Symbol of equality in the spirit of Aloha.
on November 18,2011 | 10:09AM
bpbp wrote:
Okay for ALL YOU HAWAII people who elected Obama, aren't you proud of how he represents our great state and nation? He has lowered our standing as a world leader to the point where he can't even get people to wear our Aloha shirt. How sad is that? Clinton was able to get leaders to wear jackets, ASEAN was able to get leaders to wear their traditional shirt, but NOT Obama. I hope you think twice about who you'll vote for in 2012. Obama fooled you once, so shame on him. If he fools you twice, then SHAME ON YOU!
on November 18,2011 | 10:40AM
slink wrote:
I'm not sure how much lower our standing in the world could have gone under our previous President. In everything I read and hear nowadays, the U.S.A. is no longer the scourge of the world. Yes, we may be having domestic troubles, but we are much more respected in the world due to our current, literate, intelligent President. Of course, this perception is not held by everyone, but I do believe we are still allowed to speak freely? I'd like to add that we should all try to speak/write in a more civil manner, too.
on November 18,2011 | 11:02AM
RW wrote:
President Obama did the right thing NOT to force aloha shirt attire down the throats of the leaders at APEC. As the host of APEC, he gave them the option to wear it. That is absolutely the right thing to do. Now, as guest at ASEAN, he chose to participate and join the rest of the leaders and wear the traditional Javanese shirts. What is wrong with that? Why can't Hawaii, actually Tori Richards Inc., just accept that not all world leaders want to be seen wearing an aloha shirt while on official business? Stop being so manini and let's focus on the important stuff such as the policies or agreements that came out of the summits.
on November 18,2011 | 11:15AM
KekoaBradshaw wrote:
RW, you make sense. Too bad 90% of the people who post here are going to criticize everything President Obama does, just because he's the president and not McCail/Palin. They don't care about "making sense"---that's why a non-issue like wearing an aloha shirt for a picture is such a big deal for them.
on November 18,2011 | 11:33AM
Tony91 wrote:
The president didn't give the leaders the option, this is why the president of Chile asked Obama why they were not wearing the shirts. I agree with you that that are more important things. The president of Tori Richards was on TV the other day saying that same thing -that there are more important things for the president and everyone else to worry about.
on November 18,2011 | 11:54AM
gamay wrote:
I agree! The main thing is that business got done while they were here for an entire week. Regardless of what the leaders wore in the picture, people were going to have something to say. All people do is criticize President Obama and his decisions.
on November 18,2011 | 12:12PM
atilter wrote:
waste of ink, time, energy!!!!
on November 18,2011 | 12:21PM
WesleySMori wrote:
MY GOODNESS!! WHY ARE WE GRUMBLING ABOUT WHAT THE PRESIDENT WORE???? SHOULD WE NOT BE "MORE" CONCERNED ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT THESE MEETINGS??? "GOD BLESS HAWAII & AMERICA"!!!
on November 18,2011 | 02:56PM
NicholasGMLum wrote:
It amazes me that our President can wear the Indonesian ikat, but he cannot wear an Aloha shirt. Just like our President not to have pride in our homegrown Aloha spirit. And he wants to represent us, and Hawaii?
on November 18,2011 | 09:29PM
auanurse wrote:
He may say that he is from Hawaii when he is in Hawaii............but here stateside...........he calls CHICAGO HOME and always has..........now that would make more angry than not wearing the Aloha shirt which I thought was pretty and reflected Hawaii. I like Aloha shirts and this that they are an important part of Hawaii. Folks............Hawaii is NOT on his mind when he is in DC until he wants a place to go on vacation and Hawaii picks up the bill for the overtime clocked by HPD and not to mention the inconvienence to the people in Oahu. Chicago is where his house is.............did he keep his Tutu's place? Probably not! WAKE UP!!!
on November 19,2011 | 07:15AM
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