Tokyo's Bangladeshi community celebrated on Sunday in Ikebukuro Nishi-guchi Koen park in Tokyo's Ikebukuro district. The huge triangular glass atrium of the adjoining Tokyo Metroplitan Theater, with its 6-meter black Cubist sculpture out front, provided an imposing ultramodern backdrop to the cultural festivities.
It was a balmy early spring afternoon, and a crowd of thousands filled the park, milling around the scores of booths and pressing around the pulsating music stage.
Live music dominated the atmosphere, with male and female Bangladeshi solo vocalists and backing band filling the air with tunes from the evocative to the thrilling and generally working up the enthuiastic clapping and dancing audience with Bangladeshi pop music and rousing repartee.
The stalls were a mix of food vendors selling traditional Bangladeshi meals, snacks, and drinks, much of it halal. The lines of food stalls, sending up clouds of barbecue smoke and sporting banners were constantly thronged by both Bangladeshi and Japanese revelers.
Other booths offered a range of various services to the Bangladeshi community, including the newly launched Brastel Remit service whose very competitive overseas remittance rates from Japan to Bangladesh and other Asian countries are making Brastel Remit popular.
The Ikebukuro Nishi-guchi Koen park fountain, playing its cycle of leaping spouts, was another focal point of the festival, and was an especially popular spectacle with the kids, both Bangladeshi and Japanese.
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