Antaru Festival 2013 is music and art weekend gathering

The original Antaru Festival took place at Yoyogi Park in Tokyo, and has been organized in many different locations since.

Rain or shine, the Antaru Festival 2013 is taking place at Shintoshin Park in Omoromachi district of Naha City this weekend, bringing a host of mainland Japanese and international visitors to the eclectic mix of art works and live music.

The Antaru Festival runs 10 a.m. ~ 7 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. ~ 5 p.m. on Sunday.  Admission is free.  Organizers say the event, which takes place next door to the Okinawa Prefectural Museum & Art Museum, will only be stopped if there’s stormy weather.

Antaru Festival features music and various forms of art.

“ANTARU FESTIVAL” originally started in the Yoyogi Park open-air stage in Tokyo in 2007. “ANTARU (Antall)” means “Gathering” in Hausa language of Ghana. Various people live in Japan, and although the color of a country, an area, a race, age, sex, thinking, and skin, etc. are wholly different, respectively, they are all alive with own thoughts.

Osman Orlando Bingle, the organizer, thinks the world will become better if people understand the differences between each other. “If so,” he says, “let’s do something fun together!” This is the main theme of “Antaru Festival”. Orlando is originally from Ghana, migrating to Tokyo in 1988. He is a player of “Palogo” drum, a prototype of the conga of the fishermen of Ghana, and also called the root of the “talking drum” used to transfer messages in Africa, and samba.

Since his first visit to Japan, he has organized the Antaru Festival in many places, including schools, TV and radio, and is also carrying on producing the ANTARU FESTIVAL in Yoyogi Park. In order to build nursery schools in his mother country Ghana He has been involved in other charity activities, and is the owner of cafe bar “ANTARU CAFE8” that was opened in Asagaya, Tokyo He lives in Okinawa now and has left the cafe to the staff in Tokyo.

An exhibition sale of unique art works besides live music by musicians active not only in Okinawa but also in mainland Japan is in the program, and there’s also a food court where visitors can enjoy various ethnic dishes.