Sunday, 9 August 2009
33rd Bon Odori @ Shah Alam
Obon (お盆) or just Bon (盆) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the departed spirits of one's ancestors. This Buddhist custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors' graves.
Also called the Feast of Lanterns, it has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori.
The celebration here at the Panasonic Sports Complex in Shah Alam was organised by The Japan Club of Kuala Lumpur, the Japanese School of Kuala Lumpur and the Japan Embassy on the 18th of July.
Drums aside, there were also the Japanese delicacies to be enjoyed. Don't ask me about Japanese cuisine, that's SS's department. I shall just be the guy that holds all the stuff while she buys them.
Lets see whats on offer shall we..
Unagi Tama Don..
Grilled Squid and Salmon Yakitori..
Sushi King.. The Star Newspaper seemed very interested to report that they brought a conveyor belt along to the place..
Japanese ice cream..
Woohoo! They had beer too! Foster's was the only brand I remember. There was another European brand and also a Japanese brand.
Lets get back to the food before the queue peaks up..
This is what SS, her dad and sis, and myself chowed down. Do note that the prices of foods and drinks at this event are higher than its usual price.
Surprisingly tasty and crunchy skewered chicken..
Becca's choice of Unagi Don..
SS's choice looked way more chun. Tasted better too ;)
Salmon Yakitori.. but dry and burnt..
Refreshing and cool peach-flavored green tea.. *ignores the Nicholas Teo advert at the bottom*
Because it is a cultural event, you are bound to expect a lot of people soaked up in Japanese euphoria. Yukata, manga, and goth were the order of the day.
Take 1 : The uncle looks like the dad from American Pie.. :p
Take 2 : If he knew ninja, I'd be afraid to be his son. He looks like he's ready to kill!
Take 3 : Mamma mia! I hope shes going for that fly and not my camera!
This what happens when you have 30,000 people stampeding for food. A few hundred camera lenses would have had asthma attack after this event.
Shaved ice to round things up.. Please note that the longest queue in the entire venue was to get this! Ice! Make that 1 hour waiting time.
The Bon-Odori was broken up into 4 segments. And each time the dance began, more and more people gathered in a circle around the stage to follow the dance and movement. It was truly interesting and worthwhile to take part in the procession. Especially when I accidentally slapped my fan into a gal's face!
She happened to be walking aimlessly in a crowd of this magnitude. Not a good idea when the dance is in motion :p
A random tree in a light-filled sky outside the premises. Surprisingly similar to a tree from a Japanese winter..
Thanks to SS and family for inviting me for the event. Time to cough out the dust :)