What do you think of when you think of the East? Chances are it’s the colours and the vibrancy that will spring first to mind along with notions of Bling and Bollywood?
For me, colour, vibrancy, music, joy and exuberance all spring to mind as I think of the East and its exotic entertainment industry.
Sunday in Bunbury. A cold front had come in from the north bringing with it sleeting rain and high winds of up to 125kms an hour so the meteorology department warned us. What to do? Sit at home, eat snacks and watch more Olympics or get out and about?
“There’s an event at BREC in Bunbury”, a friend said. “The Bunbury Multicultual Society are putting on a show, including a dancing gala afterwards on stage.”
OK, so that sounded like fun, and encouraged by the added possibility of meeting people from different countries, some exotic cuisine and perhaps a glass of wine, off we went.
The foyer of the entertainment centre was lit up by the colour and beat of Bollywood, alive with the sound of sitar music, the swirling of multi coloured saris and the heady aroma of Asian spices. If I closed my eyes I could just about imagine I was backpacking again in India, my senses assaulted by the sight, sound and taste sensations of the heady sub-continent.
What amazed me though was the diversity of Bunbury. Although the Indian culture appeared to be to the fore today, as if it’s colours just demanded attention, other cultures were also represented and it was great to see a mix of different nations represented.
But like a Bower Bird, I was attracted mostly to the bling and the sparkly bits of the occasion, and realised that for me, the East will always hold a special fascination.
Pics Clockwise from Top:
1. Bellydancers, left to right: Nola Gregory, Anne Marie Hamalainen, Rita Montgomery from Bellyvision.
2. Greg Bird from Bunbury and Nina Bird who is from Punjab, India.
3. Shashi Richards is a member of the “Desi Girls who dance for charity. She’s been in Bunbury for 23 years and is originally from the Fiji Islands. She’s wearing a traditional North Indian outfit from Rajasthan, the skirt is called a Gharra and the top a Choli.
4. Mother and Daughter – Saswati Pal and Shreya Pal from West Bengal wearing south Indian silk saris.
5. Gaitree Sud shows off an intricate decoration made from palm leaves.