Joel and Nanako are jogging friends belonging to the same circle of runners. On the weekend, Joel attends a training session for the first time in a long time, and Nanako strikes up a conversation with him.
Joel, I haven't seen your face in a while, have you been busy with work?
No, I popped home briefly to Jamaica. It was great fun to catch up with my parents and friends after such a long time.
That's great to hear! Actually, I want to visit Jamaica someday. I'm a big fan of reggae music! However, it isn't just the music, I'm also interested in Jamaican culture and food. Then again, I've few chances to take an extended holiday.
If that's the case, why don't we attend the "One Love Jamaica Festival" to be held on May 18th and 19th?
Yes, as an opportunity to spread both Jamaica's culture and attraction, there's been an event held in Yoyogi Park every year since 2004. You can see Jamaican music and dance performed live on a stage, there are also many food stalls in attendance. It's a really lively and entertaining event.
It sounds really enjoyable! I definitely want to go.
Joel then introduces a number of other nation-themed festivals that are to be held.
These festivals that introduce the food, culture and music, etc., of different countries are called "kakkoku fest" (literally "festivals of different countries"), and there are more than just the Jamaican one. Rather, there are a whole variety of festivals held for different countries.
I had no idea. What other countries are represented?
For example, there's the Thai Festival. It's planned to be held in Tokyo on May 11th and 12th this year. It's one of the most popular festivals there is. Meanwhile in July there will be the Indonesian Festival, and in September there's the Vietnam Festival and the Indian "Namaste India" Festival. Additionally, there are a wide variety of other nation-themed events including those for Nepal and Brazil, etc.
Joel, you're well-informed! So you attend a number of these events?
Yes, of course! Because while living in Japan, it's possible to enjoy the music and food of a wide variety of countries.
I know what you mean! I will also invite friends and attend these different festivals!
Thai Festival (May 11 and 12, 2013) http://www.thaifestival.net/
One Love Jamaica Festival (May 18 and 19, 2013) http://www.onelovejamaicafestival.jp/
Indonesia Festival (July 13 and 14, 2013) http://indonesia-festival.net/
Vietnam Festival (Sept. 14 and 15, 2013) http://www.vietnamfes.jp/
Namaste Festival (Sept. 28 and 29, 2013) http://www.indofestival.com/
-Some of these websites provide information in Japanese language only.