African Festa 2011 in Yokohama

Monday, November 14, 2011
アフリカン フェスタ 2011 in Yokohama

African Festa 2011 in Yokohama took place in Yokohama's beautiful Yamashita Park, overlooking the also very picturesque Yokohama Bay.

African Festa 2011 ran for two days: Saturday November 12 and Sunday November 13. I went on Sunday.

For an ethnic festival in Japan, of which I have been to many, it was big. The sprawling size of the African Festa 2011 made sense, though, as thirty African countries were represented here, as well as a staggering 54 other booths run by a huge range of organizations ranging from Hunger Free World, to We Love Morocco, to Action for Greening Sahel, to Medecins du Monde Japon, to the Japan Africa Friendship Association, to name just a few.

African Festa 2011 was very well attended, with hundreds of people milling around all day, in very pleasant fall weather, looking at the variety of informative materials (pamphlets, videos, books, etc.), handicrafts, foods and beverages on offer or sale, and taking in the various performances.

I was given a pamphlet on visiting Gabon by a very young member of the booth staff (see video), told the price of some snakeskin wallets, browsed some children's books featuring Africa, drank some African tea, and, finally, clapped and swayed along to the music of Cheick Tidiane Seck whose concert was the final one of the day. (I got there too late to hear Mamadou Doumbia, and Nyama Kante & Jelidon who had appeared beforehand.) Cheick Tidiane Seck performed a miracle in managing to get a Japanese crowd to engage in a little interaction with the stage, although there was a good, if small, hard core boogying down stage right.

See the above YouTube video of African Festa 2011: a taste of Africa in Japan.


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