Feb 15, 2018

Celebrate Asia’s 10th anniversary celebrates culture and community



Community is a two-way street. This concept, expressed by Jerry Lee of the MG2 Foundation, was a predominant theme of Seattle’s 10th annual Celebrate Asia festival.


Community is a two-way street. This concept, expressed by Jerry Lee of the MG2 Foundation, was a predominant theme of Seattle’s 10th annual Celebrate Asia festival, hosted on Feb. 11 by the Seattle Symphony, and sponsored by Lee’s Foundation and the Northwest Asian Weekly, among others. Sharing culture is a two-way street. Celebration is a two-way street.

As the presenters of Celebrate Asia know, in order to create a community, people have to work together. In order to share, there must be a willingness to give and receive.

“Through Celebrate Asia, the Seattle Symphony reaches out to different members of the community and lets them know that they are welcome,” said Seattle Symphony Public Relations Manager Shiva Shafii. “Celebrate Asia is a celebration of the different cultures that make Seattle.”

Most people are aware of the diversity in Seattle, yet not often do different cultures have an opportunity to intermingle. This is the opportunity Celebrate Asia has provided since its inception. On Feb. 11, cultural sharing began even before the doors opened, as guests arrived clad in festive clothing from various countries. Upon entering the lobby, guests were greeted by regional pageant winners. Emcee of the pre- and post-show, Aleksa Manila, is the 40th Miss Gay Seattle. The message was: diversity comes in many forms, and Celebrate Asia welcomes them all.

When asked what they most enjoyed about participating in Celebrate Asia, people like Shub Kaur, director and choreographer of Rhythms of India, described that it gives them “a chance to share our culture with the mainstream.” During the post-show, Kaur’s group encouraged guests to follow along to Bhangra and Bollywood rhythms.

Another aspect of Celebrate Asia performers and the audience enjoyed was the variety of settings. Attendees were first drawn to the lobby stage, where…

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