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AsiaFest to celebrate all Asian and Pacific Island cultures on Saturday

4/29/2013 | Dusty Rhodes, Arts & Humanities Editor | 217-333-0568;

[ Email | Share ] CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Japan House has always celebrated Children’s Day (formerly known as Boys’ Day), but this year, it has joined with the Asian American Cultural Center to host AsiaFest, a celebration of all Asian and Pacific Island cultures.

Activities will take place rain or shine in Japan House, 2000 S. Lincoln Ave., Urbana, and in a large tent next to the gardens from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday (May 4). The public is invited to this free event.

Members of the Philippine Student Association will perform tinikling (a traditional dance somewhat like double-Dutch jump-roping, using bamboo poles instead of rope), the a cappella group Illini Awaaz will pay tribute to Bollywood and Hollywood, and the Cricket Club of Illinois will answer questions about the world’s second most popular sport. Student organizations representing China, India, Myanmar and other Asian cultures will host booths offering demonstrations in cultural traditions such as calligraphy, cooking, ikebana (Japanese flower arranging), mehndi (henna hand decoration) and origami.

Toshie Kasada, a teacher from the Hakubi Kimono School in Japan, will demonstrate kimono dressing with children at 1 and 3 p.m. Ho Etsu Taiko, the Chicago-based Japanese drum group, will perform with Tiffany Tamaribuchi, an internationally known taiko teacher, and Akira and Raiya Katoga, from Japan.

The festival marks the conclusion of the U. of I.’s Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month observance.

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