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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Diwali in Yokohama

ディワリ 祭り 横浜

Diwali Festival in Yokohama


It's the season for the Indian Diwali festival, which I went to see celebrated in Yokohama last Saturday. Of any Japanese city, Yokohama has perhaps the most multicultural reputation, being the city of choice for a large number of different immigrant groups, most notably the Chinese.

The festival took place next to Yamashita Park, one of Yokohama's best known parks, on the waterfront and very near Chinatown.

Yokohama


The air was alive with the smells of spices and the sounds of music. There were stalls selling food, CDs, books, and advertising a variety of other goods and services. The stage throbbed with the vivid color and lissome movement of Indian dance, while at the other end of the grounds a lone dancer entertained a smaller crowd with his song and dance, accompanied by Japanese sitar, drum, and cymbal players.

Diwali in Yokohama


Local culture of a more idiosyncratic kind got a look in the form of an old man dressed more outlandishly than you could probably imagine, complete with goldfish bowl earrings complete with live goldfish! Asked what the significance of his get-up was, it was "To make the world better!"

Diwali


By nightfall sticks of chicken that had been selling for 500 yen were down to 300, and 300 yen mango lassis down to 100. We walked the back through a now lit-up Chinatown to Ishikawacho station and took the train back to Tokyo.

Diwali in Yokohama


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