Center presents 19th annual ‘Pilgrimage of Compassion’

  • Bill Buley / TGIFR!DAY file

    Taiko drummers perform at the 2018 Pilgrimage of Compassion.

  • Bill Buley / TGIFR!DAY file

    Eugene Punzal leads a coconut palm weaving demonstration at the 2018 Pilgrimage of Compassion.

  • Bill Buley / TGIFR!DAY file

    Visitors to the Lawai International Center take the 2018 Pilgrimage of Compassion walk.

Hearts will unite on the sacred grounds of the Lawai International Center at its annual Pilgrimage of Compassion from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

This free cultural event is designed to help spread the concept and true meaning of “aloha.”

Throughout the center’s extraordinary grounds, there will be activities for all ages, including culinary specialities, demonstrations of bonsai, mochi pounding, lei making, fish and tapa printing, coconut weaving, an ikebana demonstration, as well as a silent auction. Donations will be accepted with gratitude.

The Lawai Valley has long been recognized as a healing sanctuary by both Native Hawaiians and Asian immigrants. From the days of Kauai’s earliest inhabitants, it has been a peaceful retreat. Hawaiians journeyed there by foot from all over the island. In 1904, farm workers from Japan built the 88 miniature shrines visible today to honor a 1,000-mile pilgrimage on the island of Shikoku, Japan.

As new people make Kauai their home, they too are drawn to the center, seeking respite and rejuvenation, said Lawai Center Director Lynn Muramoto.

The Lawai International Center is a nonprofit, nondenominational community project driven by its volunteers, whose earnest efforts are bringing the valley back to prominence as an international center of compassion, education and cultural understanding.

It fosters educational and public awareness programs focusing on cultural traditions embodied in ancient Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese and other cultures. These include music, art, literature, drama, dance and cultural and humanitarian teachings. The Pilgrimage of Compassion is made possible with support from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and private donations.

Car pool, if possible, and wear comfortable clothing. For more information, visit www.lawaicenter.org, call 639-5952 or email paradisekauai@yahoo.com.

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