Thursday, December 6, 2007

1st experience of Bon odori july 14th 07

Well, this was my 1st time to a japanese festival in Malaysia. Bon Odori....

Bon Odori, is celebrated as a reminder of the gratefulness one should feel toward one's ancestors. It originates from the the story of Mokuren, a disciple of Shakyamuni, who saw a vision of his deceased mother in the Realm of Hungry ghosts where she was indulging in her own selfishness. Greatly disturbed, he went to the buddha, and asked how he could release his mother from this realm. Buddha instructs him to make offerings to the Sangha on the fifteenth day of the seventh month. The disciple did this and, thus, saw his mother's release. He also began to see the true nature of her past unselfishness and the many sacrifices that she had made for him. The disciple, happy because of his mother's release and grateful for his mother's kindness, danced with joy. From this dance of joy comes Bon Odori or "Bon Dance", a time in which ancestors and their sacrifices are remembered and appreciated. The style of celebration varies in many aspects from region to region. Each region has a respective local Bon dance, as well as respective music accompanying the dance. The way in which the dance is performed is also different in each region. Besides that, the dance of a region can depict the area's history and specialization. Because everyone dancing performs the same feet and hand movements in unison, it really is an interesting and beautiful dance to behold. There are other ways in which a regional Bon dance can vary. Some dances involve the use of different kinds of fans, others involve the use of small towels called tenugui which may have colorful designs. Some require the users to use small wooden clappers they use during the dance. A Bon Odori Festival is also celebrated every year at Penang and at the Matsushita Corp Stadium, Shah Alam. This celebration, which is a major attraction for the state of Selangor , is the brain child of the Japanese Expatriate & Immigrant's Society in Malaysia. In comparison to the celebrations in Japan, the festival is celebrated on a much smaller scale in Penang and Selangor (Malaysia). Here, it is less associated with Buddhism and more with Japanese culture. Held mainly to expose locals to a part of Japanese culture, the festival provides the experience of a variety of Japanese food & drinks, art and dance.

(Bon Odori summarized from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bon_Festival)

THis celebration was quite a big celebration in Malaysia , Shah Alam, by evening approaching night time, the whole stadium was crowded with people of different races and styles, including japaneses. Here, one will get to see Japanese family having a picnic on the grass with a mat on. How lovely......the japanese kids were even more kawai neh.....(Cute) , they looked quite typical of japanese kids....mayb raised under different approach of parents???

ANother attraction of bon odori was the the FOOD that was sold here, there were many booths set up here to promote japanese foods and some other type of foods........which seems to be very nice, sushi king was there too.......one will get to eat different sushi, teppanyaki, japanese ice -cream....etc..... however, the disappointing parts were the price were quite expensive and most japanese foods were not prepared by real japanese. So.....the food dun really taste tat nice. My friends and i have to budject and shared the foods which were just enough for each of us to try the taste. When night falls, the real exciting parts begans,....the traditional folk dance of obon....and music. It's very interesting to see that everyone follow their movements (a number of dancers dance on the center platform) to learn and participate in the dancing....it seems everyone was enjoying themselves very much. OF coz, there were a few other dance which were just for see.....

Oh ya, forgot to mention.......once u enter, one will get a japanese shape fan, though it's plastic which is not the real original type, but having one is jz nice...haha

all the food we bought....rm80 ++ le

my housemate enjoying d food......is she???


ppl enjoying and dancing

KAWAIIIIIIIIIIII jap kids.........

taking picture v a jap family

met another housemate there...haha

the whole bon odori attraction

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