Shaka brah: what's up, dude? | Photo: Shutterstock

All surfers know its meaning, and nearly the entire world understands the gesture.

Shaka is a universal body language that has even become a common greeting in the White House.

On November 12, 2009, President Barack Obama was at the Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska.

In his speech to the service members, he gave a shout-out to the United States Air Force Band of the Pacific and addressed a few words to their Lieutenant General, Dana T. Atkins.

"I realize that your commander, General Atkins, couldn't be here. I'm told that he got called down to Hawaii," Obama said.

"Now, that's a tough assignment. I know a little something about Hawaii - Shaka brah, what's up? I grew up there, so I hope that he's getting as warm a welcome as I'm getting here."

President Obama has often greeted people with the famous shaka.

But, as with any other symbol of surf culture, the shaka has also been at the center of many parodies and comedy sketches. Take a look at some of the best moments.

Barack Obama: the Shaka President | Photo: Kennedy/White House

Trump's "Dudes" vs. Churchill's "Homies"

On January 27, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that banned the entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Three days later, he explained the prompt decision on Twitter.

Stephen Colbert highlighted Trump's choice of words with an imaginary version of Winston Churchill's iconic World War II speech.

How To Be A Cool Surfer

In 2018, Chad LeBaron was taught how to become a cool surfer in less than 24 hours and instantly earn the respect of his peers, in and out of the water.

"Cherdleys" navigated through Santa Cruz, California, and impressed everyone with his style, attitude, and savoir-faire.

The ultimate surfer dude - dressed as he should - made sure his voice and skills were heard and seen all over town.

Surfer Talk

Mike from the Chameleon Theatre introduces us to the fundamentals of surf lingo.

But there's more: the shaka, the use of Spanish words in daily surf conversations, the outfit, the hairstyle, and the careless attitude.

Gnarly and highly entertaining, to say the least. Yew!

Brah 101

Now that you're fully immersed in surf culture's finest moments, it's time to perfect your "brah" pronunciation.

New Hawaii 808, a collective of Hawaiian comedians and social media personalities, gives us a lesson on the subtle yet critical differences in the way the word "brah" gets out of your mouth.

You can use it in a wide range of contexts - to express love, hate, confusion, enthusiasm, fear, pride, surprise, enlightenment, sadness, etc.

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