By: Denise Yuki
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- Hundreds of students from Oahu and Maui got a colorful social studies lesson Friday as they took over the Convention Center for an exclusive preview of this weekend's Honolulu Festival.
The center was buzzing with enthusiasm as the sound of taiko drums reverberated throughout the room and dancers from Japan and Australia put on performances for the students. Some even got hands-on lessons.
"We're here to educate, especially the younger generation, because we believe back at home it's the younger generation that's going to change things in our own community. So that's across the border I believe...the attitude, the understanding of changes, and slowly the world will change we hope," said Ronaldo Guivarra, an aboriginal performer from Australia. "So we have to participate."
Going into its 18th year, the festival is a showcase of different cultures in the Asia-Pacific region coming together to exchange ideas and educate the public through art, film, dance and cuisine. This year's theme, "Pacific Harmony: Bonding Together, Hand in Hand," expresses the festival's central idea, which is to strengthen ties between the people of the Asia-Pacific region.
Upcoming highlights include a craft fair and a Bon Dance, scheduled to be held Saturday, March 3, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m at the Convention Center's Kamehameha Exhibition Hall. There will also be a parade on Sunday down Kalakaua Avenue starting at 4 p.m. The parade and festivities will end with a bang with the debut of the Nagaoka Fireworks Show, highly renowned in it's hometown in Japan.
Other countries being showcased this year are China, Korea, Australia, the Philippines, and Taiwan.
For more information on events, times, and performances, visit www.honolulufestival.com or simply follow them on Facebook and Twitter at @honfestival.