Firstly, I would like to thank my friend who reminded me about this event. I almost forgotten! After missing last year’s edition, I tell myself that next year I’m gonna participate, and my wish fulfilled. Yesterday, me with my colleague and jdorama fan club member attended Bon Odori in Shah Alam. It was a happy and enjoyable experience!
To understand Bon Odori festival further, I did some research over Wikipedia:
Bon Odori (盆踊り, 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. While O-bon (お盆, O-bon) or only Bon (盆, Bon) is a Japanese Buddhist holiday to honor the departed spirits of one’s ancestors. This Buddhist festival has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people from the big cities return to their home towns and visit and clean their ancestors’ graves. Traditionally including a dance festival, it has existed in Japan for more than 500 years. It is held from July 13 (August 13 according to the lunar calendar still observed in many regions) to July 15 (“Welcoming Obon” and “Farewell Obon” respectively) in the eastern part of Japan (Kantō), and in August in the western part.
So Bon Odori actually is a very respectful event. But in Malaysia here, it is less associated with Buddhism and more with Japanese culture. I read through a forum thread that the thread started said that Bon Odori is something like Cheng Meng festival of Chinese, so please “no cosplay, no gothic lolita, no harajuku style watever”. So, I still can see many people wear like that. I saw one girl, wear like a barbie doll! hahaha, notable her shoe is like soft cushion oh my god! Somemore hanging a “pet” behind. Plus a gang of youngsters wearing like Dir En Grey or Nightmare style.. well i think is kinda exaggerated but thats quite ok for me! Celebration of Japanese culture influence whey!
I arrived the event at 5.45pm i think, and the field is already full with people! This event is still popular as usual. We were given a fan each. Walking through the grass field, I can see many Japanese families wearing traditional clothes, and many girls in colorful yukata. Honto ni kawaii desu ne!!
Remember last 3 years I came this event, I ate nothing. That is so dumb. So this time, I’m gonna take opportunity to try some of the Japanese food! Firstly, Japanese ice-cream. I purposely choose the 雪見だいふくby Lotte because I watched this product before through a CM by Yuko Ogura. It looks delicious and special in CM, it shows that the “skin” that wraps around the ice-cream, is stretchable. I choose the strawberry flavor and starts trying it. When i poke into the ice-cream with a stick that provided, it breaks…. I stone for a while becaue the feeling was different on what I saw on the CM! Cheh.. maybe the fridge is not cold enough.. nevermind. While my friend bought a matcha icecream. Wow, it taste great and full of matcha feel! Now thats better!
Next, me and my colleague go and try the Unadon (鰻丼). It says “Grilled unagi with sushi rice” which costs RM12. Pretty expensive but it taste good! We also bought Asahi beer along with the rice. After that we walked around to hunt for more, then we saw a kawaii yukata girl promoting Japanese bread. She is very cute, wanted to take picture with her, but i missed it. After I help my friend bought the sausage, she went back behind the camp rest and start doing what a normal Japanese teenager do: super-quick SMS typing. Aiya, zannen!
After that, tan_pang and BSY arrived. We meet up and woot! the event starts. People gathered around the center stage and the dancing starts! As usual, it has a total 3 rounds of dancing with four different dances each and it was exhausting! Oh man.. I need to do more workout.. It was a fun and tiring experience. In the middle of the resting time, tan_pang go try the Udon, and he said not bad. Maybe because he ate the udon, he became so brave and asking a kawaii pink yukata girl to take photo with us! Subarashii tan_pang, yo yatta! Geng ah.. maybe next time I need to be that brave as well. Yosh!
Finally, the event ended at 9.30pm, and the performers on the stage start waving their hands and bowing and saying “ARIGATOU GOZAIMASHITA!” The crowd responded “KOCHIRA KOSO!! MATA RAINEN NE!” I’m enjoying this event and hope that I will come again next year.. with a better camera :P!!
Below are some of the pictures I took, please have a look thanks!
Look at the huge crowd!
The performance starts and people gathers around the stage.
When the drum starts, this little boy starts dancing and his mother is beside him clapping hand and cheering. Sad i didn’t manage to snap the boy is in dancing posture.
People below following what the dancers do on the stage.
Some ladies in colorful yukata.
Dance till the night! We are so enjoying the dance!
Malaysian cultural performances time. A Japanese father is holding his kid up to his arm to get his kid the best viewing angle. Gokuro sama, father!
The end of event. Performers waving hands to the crowd. We shall meet again next year!!