july brought an awesome opportunity to celebrate culture and be with family. my cousin natalie was involved in a japanese festival downtown and she invited us to come watch her dance. if you haven't been to a festival in japantown of downtown slc, you are missing out! they are always full of good food, strange imports to buy, odd people who REALLY love japanese animation, and tons of culture. we got to the festival plenty early so we could eat some yummy japanese food and shop for some of my favorite japanese treats.
the kids were thrilled to be there.
and then the dancing started...
natalie got her groove on while we whooped and hollered for her.
ivy is always up for a photo op. this photo accurately captures the whole evening. beautiful, relaxing and fun.
we managed to pull natalie away from the action for a minute just to snap a few photos. the kids thought it was the coolest thing ever to be so close to one of the performers.
little ivy...loved the show.
violet and owen were obsessed with all the dancing. on the sidelines, they copied all the moves they could see (plus added a few twirls and fist-pumps). as we were getting ready to leave, violet was so sad that she didn't get the chance to dance WITH the others. so, to cheer up, she and owen ventured out into the main dancing area- and froze. rooted to their spots. no dancing. no moving.
we had to peel them away from the action and yes, violet was sad that she didn't dance when she was finally out there. what do you do!?
i loved the chance i had to think back to the cultural and spiritual experiences i had while serving my mission in japan. i don't often get opportunities like this and i loved sharing it all with my little family.