Saturday, October 3, 2009

International friendship festival, Kanazawa

Hula dancers on the friendship festival stage

Today I worked most of the day at the International Friendship Festival at Kanazawa City Hall, organised by the city council and the Kanazawa International Exchange Foundation to foster better international relations and open Kanazawa up to the world through exchange activities. I had volunteered to help out on one of the stands as my teacher Yoko has done me some favours in the past so felt I owed it to her.

Yoko (in the black sari), me and some other Japanese ladies on our stand

It was such a beautiful autumn day and the outside of the city hall was packed with about 50/60 little stalls each representing countries including Russia, Korea, China, Turkey, Malaysia (no UK there..) There was also a main stage with a crammed 2 day schedule of dance and music performances. (I saw a teiko drum performance and oddly a hula dance when I was on my break)

Our stall (on left next to Pakistan)

For some reason I was on the Malaysian stand. Yoko isn't Malay and I don't exactly look Malay either. Anyway, I was there to help so was put in charge of cooking and selling the quesadilas (yep quesadilas are Mexican but just hang in there..) It was so much fun I didn't care that I was a white English girl cooking Mexican quesadilas on a Malaysian food stand. Everyone was shouting Irasshamase! at the top of their voices trying to attract customers. In any Japanese shop you walk into you will hear this chorus of shrieking irasshamases, you'll know what I mean if you have been to Japan.

The girls

At one point we were having an "Irasshamase!" shouting battle with the Russians next door (who were mostly Japanese) Brilliant fun and it's not half as annoying when you're doing the shouting.
Fun day all round and I'd definately recommend it if you happen to be in Kanazawa at the time.

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