Ukwanshin Kabudan presented its first workshop, and Okinawan Cultural Celebration “Kariyushi” at the JACL Center. It was one of the biggest events for both the fledgeling Okinawa Kenjin Kai and JACL. A standing room crowd of about 200 filled the room as presentation of Okinawan intsruments, music and dances were given, in conjunction with examples of genres of dance.
Many were turned away at the door, as others from California and elsewhere were turned down when requesting tickets, due to tickets being sold out so early. They are already talking about a bigger event next year since the surprise crowd was only from word of mouth and the JACL newsletter, along with fliers.
It was so nice to see the hunger for culture in a place where so much of the glitz and glamour of the neon lights and casinos leave very little room for thought of one’s identity. Many young 3rd and 4th generation were in attendance. It is now up to the Okinawa Kenjin Kai to nurture the young and help them so that they will be able to continue what has been started and pass on to the future. There is much potential for Vegas to be a great center of resource for Okinawan culture.
Thank you to the Vegas JACL and Okinawa Kenjin Kai for coordinating this event and making it happen.