Friday, July 22, 2011

It's summer time, summer time, sum, sum, summer time...

As a little girl who came to Pasadena on the occasional visit I only saw what was most visible. At that time I had no idea that Pasadena was truly diverse. I had a pretty conventional concept of our town.

Happy to share that over the years, like many others in our community, I've come to learn more about those less visible parts.

While teaching at St. Mark's I came to learn about our own Obon Festival at the Pasadena Buddhist Temple. It felt as though I had returned to my East L.A. roots! Konnichiwa Pasadena!

In case you've not had a chance to grow up with Obon, it is a time that honors those who have passed away. Like Día de los muertos the dead are remembered; generally with a fond sense of memory rather than a time of sadness.

There will be food booths, some game booths, Bonsai, Ikebana, demonstrations of marhsall arts, book sales, an exhibit on the Buddhist Experience in the WWII Camps, and a photo and video presentation of "Stories of Survival: The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

And there will be time for Obon odori - time to dance for joy. Circle dances that are fun with folks who are happy to help you get past missteps or wrong turns. Smiles and laughter abound.

Oh, and did I mention the truly scrumptious teriyaki chicken?

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