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Origami, feng shui, sepak takraw part of Asian festivities

By Marivel Aguirre, La Prensa Reporter

[email protected]


Columbus: This past Memorial-day weekend was a fun one all around; first, there was the two-day Asian Festival at Franklin Park on Saturday and Sunday and then there were all the picnics and Memorial-day celebrations on Monday.

The Asian Festival celebrated its 12th anniversary with a bang—the Chinese, after all, invited fireworks. “Celebrating Ancient Traditions…New Generations” was its theme. Some of its events included Asian games such as “go” and sepak takraw, a Malaysian game that combines elements of soccer, gymnastics, and volleyball.


Sepal takraw was created by the royal family of Malaysia about 500 years ago. The name itself comes from two languages—sepak is “kick” in Malay and takraw is the “ball” in Thai. The game looks very similar to the Japanese traditional game “kemari,” where the players form a loose circle and the number of times the ball is kicked before it touches the ground is counted. In 1965, the game was unified into the present volleyball style with the addition of a net and the adoption of international rules.

The festival had many cultural demonstrations that included song, dance, and art. There was a Cambodian classical dance demonstration, which portrays moral and social themes of the Cambodian court and is not purely for entertainment because it serves a ceremonial purpose.


There were many activities for children (and adults), including the Japanese art of origami, which involves the art of folding paper into shapes representing different objects such as flowers or birds.


There was a marketplace with interesting items from across Asia as well as a food court with delicious samplings from Malaysia, Singapore, India, Thailand, and other parts of the Eastern world.


There were also martial arts demonstrations encompassing many disciplines of martial arts such as: Aikido, Taichi, Tae Kwon Do, Kung-fu, Ju-Jutsu, Pentjak Silat/ Filipino Kali, Muay Thai, Haidong Kumdo, Hapkido, and Sword. Different martial arts school throughout Ohio came to demonstrate their talent and specialty.


Booths on display included one on Feng shui, the three-thousand-year-plus art of placement and arrangement of space, in an attempt to achieve spiritual harmony and balance. It has its roots in Taoism and means “wind water” in Chinese.  


Additional events included a fundraiser, a health and wellness fair, and a career fair. The Ohio State Highway Patrol was just one of many employers present at the career fair. Other companies included Nationwide, State Farm Insurance, and the News Center 19.


The Ohio State Highway Patrol recently held their 6th Annual Law Enforcement Expo here in Columbus, as it is continuing its recruiting efforts to hire minorities.


The festival was a fun prelude to Memorial-day Monday, when many people had the day off from work, spending it with their families at the park, lake, campgrounds, or backyard.


If you’d like more information about the Asian Festival visit: www.asian-festival.org.

If you’d like more information on things to do around Columbus visit: http://explorecolumbus.osu.edu/default.asp or http://www.experiencecolumbus.com





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