Monday, June 13, 2011

35th Bon Odori Festival - A Japanese Festival in Malaysia

Each year, Selangor State Office, Ministry of Tourism and Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur organises an event called Bon Odori. It is a festive affair where the Japanese community attends in their summer yukata. Malaysians are also invited to join in the fun & festivities.

Date: 16th July 2011 Saturday
Time: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Venue: Panasonic Sports Complex (formerly Matsushita Centre) or
Shah Alam Matsushita Stadium, Selangor
Phone: 03-2274 2274

Tickets: Free Admission

Bon Odori (meaning simply Bon dance) is an event held during Obon. It is celebrated as a reminder of the gratefulness one should feel toward one's ancestors.

In Malaysia, Bon Odori Festivals are also celebrated every year in Penang and at the Matsushita Corp Stadium in Shah Alam, Selangor. 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.

Dancing is the highlight of the festival. As the sun sets, thousands of people (Japanese & Malaysians) will be dancing in a circle to the tune of traditional folk songs like Ohe Sama (Mr Sunshine), Dai Tokio Ondo, and dancing to the rhythm of the huge taiko drums on the centre platform. The steps are simple to learn as it is repetitive. The sea of people moving in unison is symbolic of the friendship bond between the peoples of Malaysia and Japan

And to be truly in the spirit of the festival, come don in cotton yukatas with lovely obi (waistband) which you can find at eCo-cent$.  Make an appointment with PJ (their fashion consultant) to view and try on some of their lovely and authenthic men, ladies and kids yukata. Learn how to wear it properly and all the different ways of tying the obi.

Now the only thing left is to brush up on your Japanese.  Konbanwa!