Japanese culture celebrated at a local festival

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – People of all nationalities were welcomed to the Lexington Japanese Culture Festival on Saturday. The Japanese American Society in Kentucky says there are 206 Japanese companies in Kentucky with about 6,000 Japanese here on a visa. The Japanese American Society of Kentucky says they know how important it is to honor their culture.

“Especially now because we are in the time of COVID, it is so difficult to experience cultural exchanges and therefore days like today are very, very important because it really helps us to spread the culture within the community, cultural awareness and to start teaching people of all ages how to really interact with people from other cultures, ”says Lilli Hanik, festival volunteer.

Although organized on a smaller scale than in the past, the organizers have set up stations to give everyone an overview of Japanese culture. From food and crafts to the traditional wardrobe, even a game to learn how to use chopsticks.

“It’s just an exhibition and giving her the opportunity to see the diversity that exists across the world, in the United States and in Kentucky where we live,” says Jordan Baeker Bispo of bringing his daughter to the festival for the first time.

The organizers say that Japanese culture focuses a lot on friendship and they hope the festival brought people together and made them smile.

“We are one human, we are people, a whole, we share a lot together. Although the oceans do separate us, humanity is the same, ”said David Carpenter, President and CEO of the Japanese American Society. “We are together and we are linked to do it. So you know that relationships and friendships are a long lasting experience. ”

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