Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival 2015 … in Auburn

Growing up in Western Sydney, Auburn to me meant “that place kind of near Parramatta”.  It was where I played netball on Saturdays (when I was 10, we came runner-up against the defending champs and our trophies were bigger than their medals, so I was pretty happy with our “not quite but almost status”).  It was where we had our primary school swimming carnivals, alternating with Granville Pools (but at the time, Auburn was better coz it had an indoor pool).  It was where my Mum went for her acupuncture (or was that Guildford? I can’t be too sure).  I know we passed Auburn on the way to Yagoona, which is where we got our dog, Comet (may she rest in peace).  Coz that’s where the RSPCA was.

But Auburn never ever felt like Little Tokyo to me.  In fact, I’d like to find a Little Tokyo in Sydney, somewhere.

Auburn should, however, definitely be considered pretty bloody multicultural.  Here’s what our good friends Wikipedia tell us about Auburn’s demographics:

According to the 2011 census of Population, there were 33,122 residents in Auburn. 31.9% of residents were born in Australia. The most common other countries of birth were China 13.3%, Turkey 6.2%, India 5.0% and Lebanon 4.0%. 13.5% of residents spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Arabic 15.7%, Turkish 11.5%, Mandarin 10.3% and Cantonese 8.1%. The most common responses for religious affiliation were Islam 42.0%, Catholic 12.6% and No Religion 12.3%.

Thank you Wikipedia.

So it should come as no surprise that Auburn goes all international on us every once in a while and this time, it’s with the Cherry Blossom Festival.

Here’s a quick clip to illustrate this:

So the Cherry Blossom Festival will run again this year for 2 weekend sessions, in The Auburn Botanic Gardens, from the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd August and then again on 29th and 30th August from 11am-4pm.

According to the Auburn City Council’s website, the Japanese Sakura (Cherry Blossoms) bloom for just 2 weeks, which is why they are so sought after both here and in their native Japan.  The council has even organised a full festival program over the 2 weekends, including Ikebana (flower arranging), Kendo (Martial Arts), and Koto and Taiko drumming.

Nothing says Japan quite like their very unique and distinct subcultures, so there will also be a bit of cosplay action, where people dress up and play out character representations from various Japanese and American pop culture phenomena.  Like these ladies:

Japanese-Cosplay-My-Local-World-

 

If you’ve never been anywhere west of Strathfield, shame on you, you big snobs.  Now’s the time to put away your dumbass Sydney postcode tribalism and head to the Auburn Botanic Gardens, Chiswick Road, Auburn for a little taste of Japan in Western Sydney. Admission is free for Auburn Residents and Children under 16, and for everyone else it’s just $5.  I mean come on.

Quick note before this post ends: I haven’t got the faintest idea why that song above was chosen in that clip, but I’m guessing it’s by some big name in J-Pop.  I’m guessing. When I think cherry blossoms (sakura), I think of this song:

 

All images via Pixabay under Creative Commons CC0

Auburn City Council Cherry Blossom Festival clip via www.auburn.nsw.gov.au

Sakura Song via youtube

 

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