Saturday, September 15th was the first Asian Folk Hour of the Utica Music and Arts Festival sponsored by Starting Over, Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, SUNYIT and UNSPOKEN Human Rights Festival. It was the first event of Starting Over and our goal was to introduce the project, and ultimately, to bring the people of Utica and the local refugee community closer together.
Asian Folk Hour featured two prominent Utica refugee groups, the Burmese and Bhutanese Nepali.
First up were the Bhutanese Nepali and we started with a young girl danced to a modern Nepali love song.
Then we had a group of Bhutanese Nepali musician and singers on stage. The Bhutanese Nepali women quickly joined them for some traditional dancing!
The Karen Burmese took the stage next, coordinated by our friend Daniel of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees.
There were two dancers and a musician who entertained the crowd with Burmese culture.
The Asian Folk Hour went by too quick, and soon we had to wrap things up. Our performers had a great time showcasing their talents and many Utica residents came up to us to say how appreciative they were of the chance to experience the culture!
Thanks so much to everyone who volunteered and coordinated this event.