Lexie has been talking about being Asian a lot recently so when I heard about the Asia Pacific New Year Event at the Tacoma Dome I thought what a great chance to be exposed to a number of Asian cultures. Was it ever. There was over 7 hours of traditional dances and songs from Korea, China, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippians, Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, Tonga, New Zealand, Lao, India and even a Mongolian dance. Their featured country was Fiji so we were treated to about an hour of their dances and songs then the rest of the countries got about a half an hour each.
This was the Fiji men's dance group. Lexie wanted to know why the men had grass skirts and not the women.
Lexie liked this group of young girls dancing a traditional Chinese scarf dance. It was hard to keep Lexie from running up on stage to join them.
Of course there were booths with traditional food. Lexie and I tried the fresh coconut milk. What she's holding is a coconut cut down, sealed then cooled. After you finished the drink they would slice it open so you could eat the meat right out of the center. It wasn't to our taste but it was a great experience. And it was also surprisingly heavy. Lexie didn't carry it for long:-)
Next we had the chance to watch some these beautiful dancers from Thailand. Of course Lexie liked the bling. She couldn't figure out how they kept their "hats" on.
Another great performer was this 11 year old girl playing a traditional Korean instrument that I'm afraid I didn't catch the name of. She was very poised and confident for her age.
A short while later it was time to participate in some of the activities they had going on. First stop was Japan and learning a little origami...
This lady was very patient with Lexie (and eventually me) until we had this lovely flower to show for our efforts. Lexie put it in her hair like so many of the other ladies she saw today.
Then it was off to China to determine what sign we were born under and have our names and signs written in Chinese by this lovely lady in traditional dress. Lexie is the year of the goat by the way and I am an ox.....Lexie thought that was funny so she called me a stinky ox all day. I don't think she got the concept and I am not stinky.
Korea was our next stop to make lotus blossom lanterns. Lexie picked the colors and well...picked the colors. She didn't want to get all sticky from the paste/glue they had. But it turned out well!
The great outdoors were calling Lexie at this point. We had to go ride the range just for a little while....yup, they had pony rides and she just HAD to have one. It must be the Kazakh blood in her!
In the lobby they had this amazing dragon puppet that I talked Lexie into getting near enough to snap this picture. She was a little nervous around it. I thought it was beautiful.
We had to catch some more dances like these terrific Korean drummers....
and this charming singing group from the Korea.
Throughout the day Lexie keep wanting to get her face painted. So finally towards the end of the day we managed to slip in to have this wonderful artist from Okinawa create a masterpiece on her face.
And a masterpiece it was....
By this time I was ready to go but Lexie wanted to watch a few more dances (and I think show off her flower.) So we saw this youth group from the Philippines dance the Payo and we called it a night.
Here she is with some of our treasures when we got home. Lexie wanted to show how much our lotus blossom looked like the flower on her face.
And we got this Indian Saree, which Lexie has wanted ever since she saw a show about a little Indian Princess and her Saree. You'll notice she picked her favorite color....
We also got delicate origami earrings for me and a hair bow for Lexie as well as some Japanese place mats and chopsticks which Lexie wanted to use for dinner tonight. Everything was $5 or less believe it or not and there was no admission to get into the event. A great day in my book and in my pocketbook too!
But my favorite treasure (besides the memories) was our names and birth signs written in Chinese. Clearly Lexie liked them too. Actually she like calling me a stinky ox. Funny girl!
The whole day was filled with a sense of pride in ones culture and a sense of community between all the Asian nations represented there today. Lexie and I both enjoyed the event and I hope it gave her a better connection to her Asian heritage.
I sure love my Asian Girl.