Wallowa County residents who consider this, their home, to be rather like a paradise may be interested to take part in “Walk Through Paradise.”

This is a first-time event that invites people of all ages in the community to come together, learn a Hawaiian praise dance, and lift their arms in offering thanks.

Three free workshops will be given during the month of July to learn the praise dance, “Kanaka Wai Wai,” which translates to “Let Me Walk Through Paradise with You, Lord,” and was one of the first songs danced in Hawaii when the hula was reintroduced in the 1860s after being banned by missionaries the century before.

On Saturday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m., anyone who wishes to join in can share “aloha” with their neighbors and friends by praising God all together on the south lawn of the Wallowa County Courthouse.

Two workshops are scheduled on Saturday, July 21, and a third is planned for Saturday, July 28. People are welcome to attend any number of the workshops to learn the dance to be presented on Aug. 4. The July 21 workshops are at 10 a.m. in Joseph at Joseph Baptist Church, and at 3 p.m. at the Wallowa Assembly of God in Wallowa. Location and time for the July 28 workshop will be announced.

Janine Kovsky, coordinator of Walk Through Paradise, says people with disabilities can participate from their chairs since the hands tell the story, and when this song was first presented in church in Hawaii, it was done as a hula noho (seated dance).

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