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Paradise found on the North Shore of Oahu

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image Nation of Tonga dancers perform the Ma'ulu'ulu at the Polynesian Cultural Center.Credit: Deb Roskamp

Paradise found on the North Shore of Oahu

he drums were pounding and so was my heart. Five Maori warriors moved in unison to the pulsating beat of the Haka war dance as their vessel glided down the tropical river. The tattooed men were powerful; not tall, but compactly built and intimidating. If I were a NFL quarterback I would want them on my offensive line. As the war dance subsided, the audience on the shore applauded in awe.

Next down the river was the display from Hawai’i. Grass-skirted women moved in harmony to the gentle rhythms of the Hula Kahiko—the ancient Hawaiian dance that predates the arrival of the Europeans, who introduced lyrics and string instrumentation.

I stood in wonder, as the Rainbows of Paradise canoe pageant continued at the Polynesian Cultural Center on the North Shore of Oahu. I had often dreamed of visiting all the island cultures of Polynesia. And now, with the warm Hawaiian sun on my back and palm trees swaying in the wind, my senses told me that I was experiencing my own paradise found.

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