Contemporarily, Hapa has also come to mean a person of mixed Asian and other racial heritage.
Historical & Hawaiian usage
In Hawaii, the term can be used in conjunction with other Hawaiian racial and ethnic descriptors to specify a particular racial or ethnic mixture. An example of this is hapa haole (part European/White).
Pukui states that the original meaning of the word haole was "foreigner". Therefore, all non-Hawaiians can be called haole. In practical terms, however, the term is used as a racial description for Caucasians (whites), with the specific exclusion of Portuguese. Portuguese were traditionally considered to be a separate race in Hawaii.
Hapa-haole also is the name of a type of Hawaiian music in which the tune, styling, and/or subject matter is Hawaiian, but the lyrics are partly, mostly, or entirely in English. Many hapa-haole songs had their musical roots in the Western tradition, and the lyrics were in some combination of English and Hawaiian; these songs first gained popularity outside the Territory of Hawaii beginning in 1912-1915, and include titles such as "My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua" and "Sweet Leilani".
Hapa haole is also used for Hawaiian-language hula songs that are partly in English, thus disqualifying them as "authentic" Hawaiian hula in some venues such as the Merrie Monarch Festival.
Some see the use of the term as a misappropriation of Hawaiian culture. Others take a stronger stand in discouraging its usage and misuse as they consider the term to be vulgar and racist. However, the term, unlike other words referring to mixed race people, is not and has never been a derogatory term when used in its original Hawaiian context, although it was later degraded by non-Hawaiians such as Japanese-Americans. As Wei Ming Dariotis states, "'Hapa' was chosen because it was the only word we could find that did not really cause us pain. It is not any of the Asian words for mixed Asian people that contain negative connotations either literally (e.g. 'children of the dust', 'mixed animal') or by association (Eurasian)."
^Folen, Alana; Ng, Tina (Spring 2007). "The Hapa Project: How multiracial identity crosses oceans". University of Hawaii at Manoa. Retrieved 2013. "Jonathan Okamura, professor of ethnic studies at the University of Hawai`i at Manoa, explained that although hapa is a word that describes all people of mixed ancestry, hapa is primarily used to describe people who are half white and half East or Southeast Asian American."
^Taniguchi & Heidenreich 2006, p. 135: "In California, individuals recognized the term as meaning mixed Asian/Pacific Islander or, more popularly, part Asian."
^Easley 1995, p. 76: "'Hapa haole' is a commonly used phrase in Hawaii, employed by all Asian subgroups, but Hawaiian in origin. The phrase literally translates into "of part-white ancestry or origin.""