The National Arena is turning into a massive Asian restaurant

English Section / 21 septembrie

Photo source: facebook / AsiaFest

Photo source: facebook / AsiaFest

Versiunea în limba română

The National Arena will be transformed into a huge Asian restaurant, where well-known dishes such as sushi, the famous Japanese traditional soup ramen, the well-known Korean fermented vegetable side dish kimchi, spring rolls, Shanghai chicken, kebabs, and lesser-known Romanian dishes from countries such as Thailand, Pakistan, the Philippines, or Sri Lanka will be served. The largest festival in Central and Southeastern Europe that promotes the cultures and cuisine of Asian countries, Asia Fest, now in its 10th edition, will take place from September 22nd to 24th in the courtyard of the National Arena in Bucharest. Over the three days of the festival, organizers offer visitors shows, films, traditional food, workshops, and exhibitions. Performances by internationally renowned Asian artists and the creation of the largest Asian food area in Romania are among the highlights of Asia Fest 2023. According to the organizers, the festival represents Bucharest's "passport" to the countries of a continent characterized by exoticism and traditions with a long history, such as Japan, South Korea, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, India, Nepal, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, etc. Admission is free, and this year's edition is a co-funded project by Sector 2 City Hall.

The organizers provide some interesting information about the festival. Japan, once again, presents its fascinating culture through tea ceremonies, calligraphy and manga drawing workshops, origami, traditional costume presentations, Kitsuke (the art of wearing a kimono), and an attractive Cosplay competition. Enthusiasts of traditional India will enjoy lively Indian dances and music and can participate daily in henna tattoo workshops or rangoli art (different shapes and patterns created using materials such as limestone powder, rice flour, colored sand, quartz powder, flower petals, stones, seeds, etc.). A fascinating photographic exhibition will be staged at Asia Fest by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Romania. Thirty easels will display unique landscapes from China. Koreans will demonstrate how to wear a hanbok (traditional clothing) and will delight the audience with lantern and fan painting workshops. Additionally, the K-Pop music & dance competition will be a highlight for young fans of this Korean subculture. Turkey will not be left out and will offer workshops on calligraphy, ebru (water painting), and many other activities specific to its traditional and modern culture.

Children will also have fun with face painting workshops, colorful hair braiding, terrarium workshops (handmade decorations with natural succulent or air plants). For the youngest visitors, slime and textile design workshops will be held at the Creative Arts Center. According to the organizers, the evenings at Asia Fest will be electrifying, with J-Rock and K-Pop shows, traditional dances, and parades of traditional Asian costumes. Film enthusiasts are not forgotten either; each evening of the festival will end with the screening of a film that highlights the lifestyle, traditions, and culture of countries such as India, Japan, or China. On the first evening of the festival, Friday, the audience will have the opportunity to listen to the well-known Fang Shuang, a Chinese-born baritone who has lived in Romania for over 16 years and is a vocal soloist at the Opera Comica for Children. On Saturday, Serkan, an artist of Turkish origin born in Istanbul but residing in Romania for over 20 years, will take the stage at Asia Fest. On Sunday, artists from the Romanian Opera and the George Enescu Philharmonic will perform the extraordinary show called "ASIA ON THE STAVE," a musical and choreographic journey through several Asian cultures. This project was initiated in 2013 at the Nottara Theater under the title "World Music on the Boulevard" and has enjoyed success on many stages across the country. The final concert of the festival will feature Bhaskar Das, one of the young masters of classical Indian music on the bansuri (an ancient flute originating from India and Nepal).

At Asia Fest, on a 500 square meter area, a zone for traditional Asian food will be set up, with dishes prepared and served on-site. The largest Asian food area ever arranged in Romania will serve hundreds of dishes specific to India, Turkey, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, South Korea, China, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and other Asian countries. The festival will also offer various Asian beverages to accompany the dishes: juices, cocktails, beer, traditional rice-based beverages such as wine or sake. Bubble tea, also known as boba tea or pearl milk tea, which is a delicious mix of tea, milk, and tapioca pearls, will not be missing from the festival's menu and has become a well-known beverage among lovers of Asian culture and cuisine.

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