HONOLULU — In Hawaii, everything feels seamless — the rolling waves and rounded hula moves, the sliding sound of the slack guitars.

Perhaps that's why Hawaii's called "Paradise." Everything blends. Edges disappear. The sharpness is gone.

That notion struck me while I was at the Polynesian Cultural Center the other day. I decided to run it by Naauao Panee, a singer and musician at the center who teaches at BYU-Hawaii. He had some interesting insights.

"It all seems to link," he said. "When the first missionaries came in, they banned the Hawaiian language. The language fueled the performing arts. So, for 50 years, many things were lost. Then a wise Hawaiian queen opened them up again."

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