Lila Miller, A&E Editor
This weekend on April 21 and 22, Armstrong and the Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs will host the Savannah Asian Cultural Festival. The festival brings Asia close to home as participants celebrate different cultures, unique ways of life, live performances, food and workshops.
The festival will begin Friday at 7:30 p.m. and ends at 4 p.m. on Saturday. All activities will be located on Armstrong’s Burnett lawn main stage and the International Gardens.
The events offer a broad look at the different Asian cultures.
Friday’s event will feature a variety of Asian dance performances held in the Fine Arts Auditorium. The Taiko dancers of Japan will perform cultural dances followed by traditional chinese dance. South Korean dancers with Master Lee and Myung Lee will also be performing, as well as Prince Pele’s Polynesian Revue.
On Saturday at 11 a.m., President Bleicken and Savannah mayor, Eddie DeLoach, will welcome attendees to the festival. A Parade of Nations will also perform, and Cecilia Arango will lead the crowd in a rendition of the National Anthem. The events will be located in both the International Gardens as well as the Burnett Hall Main Stage.
There will also be a day-long traditional Pakistani tea ceremony throughout the festival. Another all-day mainstay will include the Cultural Marketplace which will offer opportunities to learn more about each individual country. The tables will include traditional art, crafts, apparel and treasures unique to each culture.
Restaurant vendors will feature regional cuisine from Polynesia, China, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand.
A Tae Kwon Do exhibition with Master Lee, a Matsuriza Taiko Drummers of Japan performance and Thailand Dancers led by Val Prompalin will take place on the Burnett Hall main stage. Chinese dancers and musicians Xiaobin Lange will perform folk dance, Lynn Yu will play a pipa solo and Jiayi Zhong will perform traditional dance.
After a brief break in performances, Filipino dancers from Savannah will show their talents, followed by another Polynesian Revue by Prince Pele. Later, the SGVP SANATAN Mandir Group will perform a mix of Bollywood and traditional Garba dance.
An Indian Dance performance will kick off the International Garden events. Budding yogis will next have a chance to expand their practice with a yoga class on the lawn. A Tai Chi class led by Myung Lee will follow.
The city of Savannah cultural affairs department and Armstrong State University hope to promote diversity and a better understanding of Asian cultures. For more information on each class and workshop, as well as scheduling, please visit www.armstrong.edu/asianfest.