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Home TRAVELING Outing Bon Odori @ Esplanade Penang

If you live in Penang, Bon Odori is certainly an annual event that you can hardly missed. Nevertheless, I was not aware of the event until we arrived in George Town on the evening of 20 July. Parked along one of the small streets in heritage zone, I saw a familiar face – a friend who is an avid photographer. Armed with camera and stand, he rushed towards the direction of Victoria Clock Tower without noticing our stationary vehicle. While we left for Jing Si Books & Café on the opposite direction.
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As soon as we walked into Jing Si Books & Café, we were greeted by Amanda. She heard Austin’s loud scream, refusing to take off his shoes before walking into the café, hence came by to offer assistance. We chatted and that was when we happened to find out that this year’s Bon Odori Festival was celebrated at Esplanade - Padang Kota Lama.
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Wow! This was sounding great. Since we’re in town, we had to head there. For Austin, it would be his first experience. Going back to our vehicle and driving there was not a good idea. Lined up cars occupied the nearest parking bays and the waterfront road were already closed to traffic.  Hence, we went on foot – and I was glad we did.
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Our beloved Penang chief minister – Mr Lim Guan Eng was also spotted on the stage, together with his exco member – Mr Danny Law.
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As what we’d promised, we took Austin to the playground area right adjacent to Fort Cornwallis. He didn’t seem to be attracted by the large crowd, neither the blatant music from the middle of the green carpet nearby. His focus was playground and still was. Running high and low, he climbed, slid, fell, stood up, jumped, laughed and giggled. Plus, drenched in sweat. Until we’re about to leave, he decided to play with ball and checked out the performance on the open-air stage – Bon Odori.
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Music, drums, dances, colorful Kimono, unique hairdo and make-up, Austin looked fascinated, observing this Japanese tradition that is similar to Chinese’s version of Qing Ming. It is actually a moment of family reunion, returning to ancestral family and paying respect to the ancestors.
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