As a visitor, what caught my eye the most was the sense of unspoken unity among the community.
Jamuna Future Park is notorious for being a real-life maze in the form of a mall.
However, on Friday, 24 June, the telltale signs of an event were present.
A trail of people, visitors in kimonos and vividly coloured wigs – a sight that we do not see every day – led you to the gate of the BD Japanese Festival 2022, and into a whole new world.
The BD Japanese Festival 2022 was a celebration of Japanese culture in Bangladesh. From Japanese singers to a karate performance, the festival had a diverse line-up of performances.
Bajna Beat, a singing duo, were one of the star performers of the event. The Japanese pair fluently sang in Bangla, which was followed by popular Japanese songs, and successfully won over the audience.
Bajna Beat reflected the spirit of the event and how the love for culture is something that deserves to be shared across borders.
This event was another opportunity for the cosplay community to show their dedication to bringing fiction to life through the festival’s cosplay competition.
Many participants showcased their outfits and got into character on stage with energetic dances, fight scene reenactments, and more.
The festival also included an art and an AMV (Anime Music Video) competition, where submissions were taken online.
Oftentimes the fascination with culture can blossom into a passion to learn and explore more. This was reflected in the stalls at the event.
Albeit not enough to fill the venue, there was a variety of booths for food, cultural education, and most prominent of all – merchandise.
The festival certainly did not leave out the people who are interested in learning the language and etiquettes, as among the booths was that of Kokorozashi and Kazuko Bhuiyan Japanese Cultural Centre.
Yet, even though the festival covered the basics quite well, it still felt like the organisers could have done more.
The bare walls did not really reflect the traditional Japanese aesthetics which felt like a missed opportunity.
Regardless, as a visitor, what caught my eye the most was the sense of unspoken unity among the community.
The audience did not care if a song was off-beat, whether the cosplayers were awkward, or if the performers were not known to them; the cheers and applause were unwaveringly supportive.
Even during a moment when a cosplayer walked on to the ramp without music, her fellow cosplayers made sure to cheer and whoop extra loud.