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International Festival success

By: Marie Dominguez

Date Posted: 1999-03-06

The 9th Okinawa International Festival was held at the Okinawa Agricultural Research Center in Noborikawa, Okinawa City, Sunday. The admission to the event was free and parking space was available thanks to the joint efforts of the Executive Committee comprised of members of Okinawa City, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Okinawa City Tourism Association.

The festival focused on youth exchange by introducing cultural backgrounds from around the world to the people of Okinawa. According to Paul Freeman OCIA/stage chairman, the festival consisted of two main events. In the Exhibition Category, a toy museum featuring toys from around the world was open to the public. Exhibits included various games, animated films, making of toy dragonflies, kites, and balloon art. The Festival also offered various foods from around the world. Kiddy snacks, sweet potato dumplings from Yomitan, curry rice, eggrolls, pancit (rice noodles) and many more were for sale at the booths.

The stage events included Japanese and Ruyukyan folk dances as well as folk dances from different parts of the world. The last stage performance was the Okinawa "Kachasi" dance, with everyone articipating.

The event was a success, thanks to Lisa Lawn and the all volunteer staff who coordinated the events. Not only does the international community in Okinawa benefit from these events, but many locals also felt that it presented an excellent chance to learn more about different cultures.

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