Hello Everyone, this is Junko from NY de Volunteer.
I want to share with everyone some of the snippets from the Japan Parade, which was held on Saturday, 5/14!
Celebrating the 150th year of Ambassador Iwakura Tomomi's visit to the United States, Japan Day was held in Manhattan, marching from Central Park West--81st street down to 68th street, where various Japanese organizations grouped together to showcase Japan's traditional and pop culture. About 50 of our NYdV (NY de Volunteer) members participated in the event as well.
How It Came About
Fun in Socializing
Even When It Rained
After the Activity
<How It Came About>
Before COVID-19, Japan Day was held in Central Park every May. Various booths and participants lined up to showcase Japanese culture and food, and NYdV took part in the Yukata-fitting booth to make Japan Day even more fun and enjoyable for everyone. This year, Japan Day was held in the form of a Parade. NYdV staff members planned for the most NYdV-like activity, and collectively decided to pick up trash, following at the tail of the parade.
The trash pick-up tradition for NYdV began when our co-founders began to pick up trash in Coney Island 20 years ago. Trash pick-up gained popularity in the World Cup, and it well exhibits the Japanese people's value and firm belief in public manners and keeping the streets clean. So, we decided to put our gloves on, grab our trash pickers, and decided to pick up trash! With the help of trash pickers, we were able to pick up trash a lot easier.
<Fun in Socializing>
The event was delayed for about an hour than the original start time, but the members were able to meet and enjoy the interaction with one another, as it actually was the first large community event that was held in-person in a while. We even received feedback that even the delayed wait time was fun. Starting from "Nice to meet you," sharing our hobbies in common and restaurant recommendations… The conversation topics were truly endless.
<Even When It Rained>
It actually started raining in the middle of the parade, and we had to pick up trash wearing a poncho, but we were encouraged by the positive comments like, *The rain made us united, and we don’t back down!”. We made it to the goal line of the Red Carpet area feeling strong! We received lots of encouragement and appreciation from the stands and the NYPD officers.
<After the Activity>
As the event was held on the weekend, many students and working individuals were able to join us, and even were kind enough to send us feedback.
"It is a rare opportunity to take part in a parade held in New York, and I'm grateful for being able to participate in and leaving good memories."
- Participating High School Student
"Because I usually interact with work-related acquaintances or activities, it was truly fun and enjoyable interacting with everyone participating in the event.”
- Participating Working Individual
"There are not many good opportunities to share Japanese culture like this, so this was really an important and precious moment for me.”
- Participating Working Individual
We're continuing to put effort into putting many events together for many people to participate in, including weekend events, so please check our website or SNS! We also have a mailing list that sends out event information, so please subscribe.
We, at NYdV, would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all the participants for making the first Japan Day Parade in NY such unforgettable memories. We look forward to meeting everyone soon again♪