By Zenaida Serrano
Advertiser Staff Writer
This is definitely the weekend to explore new cultures and traditions — and without needing a passport or spending a fortune.
The East-West Center Participants Association will host its 2010 East-West Fest, a cultural celebration of about 19 countries represented at the center, 1-5 p.m. today at the East-West Center's Imin Conference Center Lanai.
"We would encourage people to come because this is an affordable way to take a look at and enjoy a multitude of cultures — all at one place, at one time," said Erenst Anip, an event co-organizer and graduate student at the University of Hawai'i-Mānoa. Anip is from Indonesia.
The student-organized festival, part of the center's 50th anniversary festivities, is themed "Connecting Diversity." Countries represented at the festival include Bali, India, Spain, Taiwan, East Timor, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh. There will be cultural booths with traditional games and activities, a scavenger hunt in which participants receive stamps or stickers on pretend passports; cultural dances and music; and food from India and Indonesia. Admission is free. Parking is available on the UH-Mānoa campus. Details: 722-6184.
FROM KHMER FASHION TO HIGHLAND FLINGS
Other cultural festivities today on O'ahu:
• Cambodian New Year: Join Hawai'i's Cambodian community to celebrate the Year of the Tiger with a traditional Buddhist ceremony, classical and folk dances, Khmer food, a Khmer fashion show, and music by the Srok Sreh Band. Sponsored by the Cambodian Hawai'i Friendship Association and the Cambodian American Buddhist Association of Hawai'i. Buddhist ceremony, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Meditation Center, 654A N. Judd St.; traditional festivities, 4-9 p.m., Central Union Church; free. 382-8598, 428-3395, 371-3584.
• 15th Chinese Language and Culture Fair: Play nearly a dozen different Chinese games and activities, watch a lion dance and martial arts performances, and win door prizes. Sponsored by the Chinese Language Education Association of Hawai'i. 9-11:30 a.m., Ala Wai Elementary School; free. 943-2612 or email@example.com.
• Puerto Rican Day on the Plantation: Tour a Puerto Rican plantation house; visit a country store, grind Puerto Rican plate lunches ($8) with pastele and gandule rice; and enjoy traditional dance and music. Sponsored by the Puerto Rican Heritage Society of Hawaii and Hawaii's Plantation Village. 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Hawaii's Plantation Village; free admission. 677-0110 or www.hawaiiplantationvillage.org.
• Hawaiian Scottish Festival and Highland Games: Enjoy music, food, games and a highland dance competition. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (also on Sunday), Kapi'olani Park; free. www.scotshawaii.org.
Correction: A photo of East-West Fest participants representing Bhutan was incorrectly labeled Korea, and Bali, an island in Indonesia, was incorrectly identified as a country in a previous version of this story.