HONOLULU, Hawaii — US President Barack Obama opened a landmark year on Sunday by paying homage to his roots as he wraps up his vacation in his native Hawaii.

Obama visited the graveyard of his grandfather, a World War II veteran, in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, and then viewed an exhibition of his late mother's anthropological field work in Indonesia.

The new year 2012 will be a crucial one for Obama -- he will either win a second White House term in November or go down in history as a one-term president.

Obama took his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha to visit the gravesite of his grandfather Stanley Dunham, who is credited with playing a major role in bringing him up as a boy in Hawaii.

Then Obama called in at the East West Center, a Hawaii think-tank dedicated to US links with Asia and policy towards the region, to see the exhibition of his mother's field work.

The exhibit of Ann Dunham's work includes a collection of textiles, ceramics, and basketry made in the villages of Indonesia.

Obama spent four years as a boy living in Indonesia with his late mother, who died of cancer in 1995.

The president and his family are expected to leave Hawaii after their annual Christmas and New Year vacation on Monday.