This past Sunday I had the extreme fortune and pleasure to attend Sacramento’s 6th Annual Chinatown Mall Culture Fair.
A dazzling spectacle from another world that is very much alive here in the spirits the hearts and the minds of all those who created it as well as all those lucky enough to have been there!
Booths and artistry were set up all around the plaza of Sacramento’s Chinatown Mall, located on Jst in between 4th and 5th . All who entered were suddenly immersed in a land of wonder.
The Chinatown Culture Fair is an easy choice for families who enjoy the amazing and the wonderful! The kids were all having a great time, with Origami, Calligraphy, Dragons and Martial Arts Masters flying through the air. It seemed the event was enjoyed even more by those in attendance of advanced age. You could see by their smiles and the brightness in their eyes that the event was livening their hearts. Perhaps it was reminding them of times long ago, or maybe just invigorated by seeing the breath of an ancient Culture in all its splendor beauty and talent sparkling like waves in the Sun.
One of the most essential functions of ritual societal events is to bring together all ages and societal standings basking in the warm glow of what love and practice can accomplish with teaching and time. This is what The Chinatown Fair represented.
At the Jst entrance the Saycup Band was playing Hong Kong Classics and Metallica.
The main stage was the heart of the event. Here I witnessed dancing, and gold microphone singing with exotic instruments from the East, and Martial Arts of all kinds. There was even an Accordion Band! All of the performers were extremely skilled. Many of them were young, ranging from the ages of 6 to 16.
I would say one of the main things that I took from this fair of culture was that the Chinese tradition teaches kids to harmonize the strengths of their minds body’s and spirits to accomplish and succeed in amazing arts and feats from early on.
Just like the Shaolin Monks of China these young people are flying through the air with back flips and side and front flips. They performed an entire hour-long choreographed Martial Arts performance, which included swords.
A Flute Duet performed by two junior high school aged girls, sounded as if we were in Carnegie Hall. Accordions 4 All also played. The first song was only one girl playing, however it sounded like I was in some ancient Bavarian tavern listening to the greatest players in history!
Then there was the Rainbow Garment Melody. Whoa! This beautiful woman gets on stage in a vibrant pink traditional dress and she begins to play an immaculate white Zheng. * Suddenly she comes out from behind the instrument and the entire stage is filled with bright rainbows from the sleeves of her dress. Her sleeves somehow extended to 10 foot long flowing glittering swirls of amazingness!
Then there is an other Duet with a Zheng player and a Pipa ** player from the Chinese Instrument Workshop that flew us high through the clouds to an other land. Karaoke genius, Peter Tang also hit the stage and rocked the songs, Hurt so Good and Every I Do.
The Kung Fu.
They were amazing. I am sure I took at least 1000 photos that day and I’d say 800 of them were during the festivals climactic Martial Arts performances
These young people were exemplary.
The Tai Chi form from the Chinese Confucius School with its peaceful flowing movements and traditional black clothing was soothing, as if they were trees flowing in the breeze, or water flowing around rocks in a mountain stream.
But Master Xena’s class, the final performers, resembled a fire works show. Each of them moving fluidly and constantly wearing bright blues, reds, yellows, pinks and swan whites. They had smiling faces and electricity that you could feel and hear. Swords like flashes of light. Fans flipping like the wings of the darting bird. The exhilaration of performers pushing each other to new heights and inspiring every one every where with their feats that redefined the excepted laws of physics.
This day Sacramento’s Chinatown Mall was the very definition of this beautiful ancient and living culture. When the spectators left we felt like we could do flips and fly through the air too. And do you know what? I think it may be true.
Thank you Chinatown Culture Fair.
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* Famous Chinese instrument like the one played in Kung Fu Hustle!
**Another Famous Chinese instrument however not featured in Kung Fu Hustle.