Sunday, July 15, 2007

31st Bon Odori Festival, Panasonic Stadium, Shah Alam Part 1

I've heard a lot about the Bon Odori festival that has been held yearly in Selangor but never had the chance to visit it since most of the time I happen to be in Sabah when it commences. I got wind of it through Lensa and Flickr members and so decided to pay a visit this time. I didn't realise that the staging of the Bon Odori has been going on for so long and only realise at the moment when the announcement mentioned that this is the 31st time such an event between Malaysia and Japan has been carried out. I must admit that I'm somewhat of a Japanese otaku and will go for anything Japanese, due to the fact that I consider the Japanese culture as an interesting study, a very deep distinction that spans both extremes, age old traditional values, history, culture and tradition and on the other hand a very deep grasp on modern culture from gothic lolita, manga, anime and the latest in technology. How Japan balances both this facets of the nation identity is a really great feat. The staging of this event by both governments is truly symbolic of the good relationship that both countries share, a bond that includes economic, cultural and diplomatic ties. True there was the treatment that many have got during the Japanese occupation but we have gone past that and the sins of the past generation should not be borne but the present one.

Typically on display on this day are people of all walks of lives decks out in traditional japanese garment such as the yukata, a light and less formal form of the kimono worn generally in the summer, the various food available (I personally went for the fresh green tea ice cream and takoyaki) and lots of music, dance and merriment. Hopefully such a tradition will continue on and that our relationship between Japanese and Malaysian alike will strengthen in future.


The lady was trying to get the little kid to smile to no avail.


Large crowds took to the field, some bringing mats to sit on and feast on the various japanese foodstuff sold.


The drummers waiting to get a group photo taken before the start of events.


The drummers waiting to get a group photo taken before the start of events.


Group photo of all the performers


The drummers walking up to the dais for the start of the bon odori festival


Practice run to test the sound of the drums


A duo of drummers


The drummers and dancers on stage after the end of the first session, stupid press photographers killed the view even as they got the best closeup shots


Evening sky as the events went into the night

No comments: