A recently made friend (she should be starting a blog soon) and I went to the Japanese Celebrations at Souq Sharq Friday night to immerse ourselves in a little Japanese culture. We had a gala time!
To commemorate 50 years of relations with Nippon, Kuwait has been buzzing with all kinds of Japanese related activities and shows this week, like the Kendo Tournament (missed it), Japanese drums concert at Mishref (missed it, but there is a consolation!) Gamarjobat at the Avenues (missed it *wails*).
I wasn't going to miss this.
We had a terrible time getting a parking spot and ended up in the area farthest away from the mall, in front of the fish market. Thank goodness we got a spot!
The celebrations took place outside in the crisp winter air. There were stalls selling Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pizza) and Japanese seafood dumplings. If you've read my Before I die list you'll understand why I stood in those immobile queues for over 20 minutes while my sweet friend (we need a name for you!) patiently waited with me. Making dumplings the Japanese way is quite a tedious process. I'm in two minds as to whether it was worth it. They tasted strange...
|Okonomiyaki in cheese and seafood|
|First the strange dumpling maker is whisked clean|
|Then dumpling mix is poured in|
|With the filling strewn on top of each mold - cabbage,|
spring onion, ginger, seafood stuff, grated carrot
|Dumpling mix is poured over again |
but I'm not sure if this is supposed to happen :-/
Waiting for the dumplings to turn the right shade of brown meant we'd lost the chance to get a seat on the steps for the show and I stood behind an elderly couple trying to get a good shot of the children singing Sukiyaki with my left hand, holding the cup of dumplings in my right. The guy had his arm around his wife (didn't see her face but I vividly remember the black and white pattern of her coat) and he kept trying to make eye contact with me but I was too wrapped up in the performance. But he continued doing so all through the song and when I finally turned to him about to mutter something in irritation, he pointed at my cup and then to his wife's coat, politely gesticulating what was supposed to mean, 'woman, lay off the coat'. He needn't have worried, I'm much more likely to drop stuff on myself than on other people. Unladylike? Yes, very *dies of shame*
They then sang the opening song of My Neighbour Totoro! =D I LOVE THIS SONG! Wish they'd also sung Tonari no Totoro.
A fashion show of kimonos of gorgeous hues followed. At this point, I got a seat. I missed the names of them all and a lady sitting next to me very kindly educated me a little on the exquisite dresses I had tried to take pictures of. Please correct me if my captions are wrong.
|I can't remember what this one is|
Formal Kimono for unmarried women.
|Semi-formal kimonos for both married and unmarried women|
|Definitely my favourite.|
This was with a square necked jacket
(she's holding it)
|Informal kimono with trousers,|
now worn as a school uniform
A fusion of beats from a Japanese Taiko drum with that of the violin and saxophone. I'm not a fan of jazz music so I wasn't too keen when the sax came out, but this performance captivated me. Note the soulful playing of the violinist. I apologize for the abrupt end, it was at that point that my memory card decided it had had its fill.
|Going shirtless was a big hit with the crowd!|
|An ear for applause|
|Ban Odori! This looked like so much fun!|
|Ikebana (flower arrangements) from Tokyo|
|This stall had pix of the aftermath |
of the earthquake
I didn't visit some of the other stalls but I stopped by the Origami one to make a crane (the bird).
There were other oddities on the table of the Origami stall like boats, boxes, shurikens (!!).. wish I'd made a shuriken instead of a crane. Although I can't really say I made a crane, the helpful lady there did most of it!
Must visit Japan. Soon.
|A lady making a crane at the Origami stall|
It's NOT as easy as it looks
|I took a shuriken home. I feel like a shinobi from Konoha ;)|
(you won't get this unless you've watched Naruto)
Must visit Japan. Soon.