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Photo Gallery | Asian Cultural Festivals

 

The past two weekends in Stockton have been filled with Asian cultural festivals – the Obon Festival (Japanese) on August 2nd and 3rd and the Barrio Fiesta (Filipino) on August 9th and 10th.

My husband and I made our annual visit to the Obon at the Buddhist Church of Stockton.  This year we saw the Stockton Bukkyo Taiko open the festival.  Then we went into the social hall and looked at what was new at the craft table (made by the Tomo-no Kai senior group), bonsai and sword displays (by Sacramento Japanese Sword Club).  From there we ventured to the Ikebana (flower arranging), onenju (thought beads) and jewelry exhibits in the mini chapel and came back to the social hall for various forms of entertainment (vocalized poems, string instruments/koto, traditional dance/odori, Taiko and martial arts) all while eating tempura vegetables with fried shrimp.  My husband even ate a plate of his favorites, barbecued oysters. Before leaving I looked at the plants for sale, played some carnival games and we shared a shaved ice – another successful year at the Obon.

I attended Saturday’s closing dance performance at the Barrio Fiesta. It was breathtaking.  One group after another from the Little Manila Dance Collective performed about a dozen new and classic dances with energy and grace, everyone dressed in stunning attire.  Unfortunately, I missed the fashion show but felt satisfied that I saw the best of both – fashion and dance.

The performance was dedicated to remembering the contributions of all Filipinos in Stockton (past and present). A portrait of the late Carmen Tomek, founder of Stockton’s Sampaguita dance troupe, was placed on stage in tribute.  

The Barrio Fiesta just completed its 41st year.  Taking 2013 off brought a renewed spirit to the festivities.  Stockton can look forward to many more years of celebrating everything Filipino at the Barrio Fiesta.