34th Bon-Odori, Shah Alam. (and photos)
Hi folks ( ﾟ ▽ ﾟ)ﾉ This will be my 1st comprehensive post after many moons. I have so much of backlogged posting that needs to be done. Nevertheless, lets start with 34th Bon Odori that was held at Matsushita Sports Complex in Shah Alam last Saturday.
I did post a description on Bon Odori last year, only to realize I didnt actually post up the photos =__=” Here it is again
The origin of Bon Odori festival tightly relates to Buddhism custom which is held annually to honour the deceased spirits of one’s ancestors. In Malaysia the Bon Odori Festival is celebrated every year in Penang and 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 and less associated with Buddhism and more towards 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.
Having been to the last year event, I totally underestimated the expected crowd for this year and as a result I was stuck in my car for and hour from driving to looking for parking. I arrived at around 7pm and from far I can hear the opening ceremony speeches and the start of the dance (odori).
Theres not much of the difference of this year event compared to last year as the ground layout was practically the same (Shah Alam). The drum stage and the food stalls are in the same area. There was a lot of hype that the Penang event has always been superior, but reports I received that this year in Penang was an epic fail due to rain.
For this year crowd, im estimating it was a 20% increase compared to last year. Damn the grounds were packed with humans. Since i cant distinguish the Chinese to Japanese, Im not sure if theres a lot of Japanese actually attending this. But thanks to folks who put an effort wearing Yukata and Jinbei, it sure made the event lively.
I do not know wha’s the actual atmosphere of Bon-Odori festival in Japan supposed to be, but here in Shah Alam everyone were enjoying the dances. The dance session were seperated into 3 sessions with breaks in between.
Unfortunately I didnt bring my 55-200, so my 85mm just cant reach the drummers and girls on stage ;__; I was also considering to capture some vids, but my 5800xm was too shitty for lowlight captures.
Tokyo Ondo was one of the song being played and people danced to it. The played version is slightly different from the one below, but the lyrics are the same.
The vid shows how the dance is performed. It looks so much awesome when more people do it in sync
In term of foods, I cant comment much on them as I dont feel like queuing in the long lines.
The event ended before 10pm. But sadly the Malaysian seems to not know how to dispose rubbish at designated area ;__; shame..
As for me, i enjoyed the event and looking forward to next year. But im kind of dissapointed that my photos didn’t turned out like what I’ve expected. You can see more photos here.
Also, considering the growth of visitor, I dont think this Matsushita Sports Complex can sustain the expected visitors for next year.
2009 33rd Bon Odori Photos here