This past weekend I was able to attend the Nisei Week parade for the first time in the past 6-7 years that I've lived here. Why it's taken me so long to attend one? I have no excuse. But thanks Sean W. for inviting me to tag along with you.
With the little that I observed on Sunday, I was slapped pretty hard with a bout of nostalgia remembering the Taiwanese festivals that my parents used to take me to. They were no where near as large as Nisei Week's festivities and there was definitely no parade, but they both exuded the same feeling. A sense of identity and belonging in a country where, even though you were born and raised here, you didn't quite fit in. Not 100% American and not 100% (place ethnicity here) in my case Taiwanese.
Watching my friend interact with his fellow Japanese-American friends whom he's grown up with attending Nisei Week, Obon, and other festivals really made me yearn for the days where I also had that connection and camaraderie. Why I feel it is currently missing from my life is a whole story on it's own that I'll save for another time.
At the end of it all I can only say thank you to all of the people who realize the importance of keeping cultural traditions alive for all to witness. Without you, the 2nd generation and on would never have a grasp on where we came from and how far we've come.