HONOLULU – Hawaii and the Indonesian island of Bali are becoming sister states.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Indonesian Consul General Hadi Martono were scheduled to attend a signing ceremony at the governor’s chambers on Monday.
A reception featuring hula and Balinese dance will follow.
State Rep. Gene Ward has been a driving force behind establishing the new relationship. He will also be at the ceremony, along with the Hawaii-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and the Indonesian Club of the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Hawaii and Bali have a lot in common: Both are major international tourist destinations, favoured spots for surfers and have rich musical and dance traditions.
Hawaii forms “sibling” ties with other parts of the world when there’s evidence of substantial grassroots support, potential for expanding exchanges and both sides are expected to benefit economically.
The state says relationships like these raise Hawaii’s profile around the world and stimulate Hawaii’s economy.
Hawaii has 15 other sister state relationships, including five with provinces in the Philippines and four with Japanese prefectures.
Two Hawaii sister states are in China. Morocco, Portugal, South Korea and Taiwan each have one Hawaii sister state.
Fukuoka prefecture in Japan was the first to become a sister state of Hawaii, in 1981.