Sunday, July 18, 2010

Bon Odori Festival

Bon Odori Festival is celebrated annually at Stadium Panasonic (formerly Stadium Matshushita) at Shah Alam.

History of Bon Odori**

Bon Odori is a Japanese Buddhist Folk Dance performed outdoors and danced in concentric circle around a raised platform called a Yagura.  Odori means dance and Bon is the abbreviated name of a Buddhist text, the Ullambana Sutra, whose Japanese pronunciation is Urabon, shortened to Bon.

The sutra tells the story of a Monk called Mokuren (known as Mogallana in Pali), who in meditation saw his deceased mother suffering of starvation in the Hell of Hungry Ghosts, where any food she touched burst into flames. Mokuren appealed to Shakyamuni Buddha to save his mother from her fate. Shakyamuni instructed Mokuren that in order to overcome his mother's selfish past life karma, he should make offerings of food from land and sea to his fellow monks at the end of their 90-day retreat which ended in mid-July. Upon following Shakyamuni's instructions, Mokuren danced for joy when his mother and seven generations of his ancestors were freed from their suffering.

This story gradually developed into a major memorial festival for one's ancestors, and took root in many forms in Mahayana Buddhist countries, especially in China, Korea, Japan and Vietnam. The Obon festival in Japan has been held annually since 657 A.D. In the Jodo Shinshu sect, it is called Kangi-E, or Gathering of Joy, as established by Monshu Myonyo Shonin.

Though a memorial observance, there is a festive mood during Obon. Obon is a time to remember and honor all those who have passed on before us. It is a time to appreciate all that they have done for us and to recognize the continuation of the influence of their deeds upon our lives. Obon is also a time of self-reflection; the joy one feels is not from the happiness of getting what you desire, but the joy of being shown the truth -- the joy of awareness. "Obon reminds us to love and care for our parents. It also encourages the practice of selfless giving (dana) not only to family and friends, but to all beings."

**Text extracted from -

Besides the cultural dance, there are many vendors selling Japanese delicacies. You have to be patient as there will be very long queues. Since Mr. Octopus was so famous during the World Cup, Takoyaki is very highly demanded here as well :).



Friday, July 2, 2010

Urbanscapes @ KLPAC

Evening Scenes at KLPAC during the Urbanscapes event last weekend. Various concerts and creative arts were on displayed. It's an yearly event organised by KLUE

Scooter Under the Light