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Echo Park Lotus Festival 2008, without the Lotus

by Echo Park Communtiy Coalition Monday, Jul. 14, 2008 at 11:51 AM
epcc_la@hotmail.com 213-241-0906 337 Glendale Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

The 31st annual Asian Lotus Festival in Echo Park was held without the Lotus last July 11 to 13, 2008. As early as May, people started to notice that the usual lotus bed in the Echo Park Lake was absent from its bed. By June, the city authorities started to worry about the absence of the Lotus flower. And when the Lotus festival was held last July 11-13, 2008 ,the festival has must go on, like how show business does.

Echo Park Lotus Fest...
img_1017.jpg, image/jpeg, 2816x2112

Media Advisory

Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC)

July 13, 2008

Echo Park Lotus Festival 2008, without the Lotus



Los Angeles- The 31st annual Asian Lotus Festival in Echo Park was held without the Lotus last July 11 to 13, 2008.

As early as May, people started to notice that the usual lotus bed in the Echo Park Lake was absent from its bed. By June, the city authorities started to worry about the absence of the Lotus flower. And when the Lotus festival was held last July 11-13, 2008 ,the festival has must go on, like how show business does.

And the Lotus Festival 2008 went on sans the Lotuses.

“Too little, too late”

In 2005, the people began to notice that the lotus flowers were diminishing. But this is the first time in the festival’s 31 years history that the lotus flowers were prominently absent. Even the Department of Recreation and Parks at that time observed signs of the lotus flowers decreasing.

In the fact sheet issued by the Department during the festival to explain why the lotus flowers were absent, the Department said: “the possible reasons that the lotus may have diminished are: pollution in the lake, turtles and ducks nibbled at the lotus bed, the genus of the plant is very old and more susceptible to diseases and the sediments that built up at the bottom of the lake affected the growth and the root system of the lotus flowers.”

Thomas De Bee, former Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council first president and Echo Park Advisory Board criticized the Department’s negligence and said that “ its efforts are too little, too late” The lotus is gone and dead.

Significant Symbol

Lotus flowers is significant to Asian culture as symbol rebirth, purity and life. In the first place, the origin of the Lotus Festival was born on the basis of this symbol. At the first, the festival was named “ The Day of the Lotus” It was called off in 1978-79 and in 1989 And when it came back in 1990 it was called the lotus festival.

The Echo Park lotus bed was touted to be the largest lotus bed in the United States. Now, this is totally gone.

It is disinteresting while Asian and Pacific peoples celebrate their culture with live music, dance and entertainment from variety of countries of Asia and the Pacific, th United States faces a slowdown or a recession.

Where more than 4 million homes foreclosed, decreasing dollar value, jobless growth , spiraling oil price hikes, rising food prices and all kinds of hardships coming , can the absence of the lotus flowers in Echo Park mean hard times for Asians in the United States?

For more informationcontact Al P. Garcia@ (213) 241-0906 or email epcc_la@hotmail or visit our blogspot at alliancephilippines.blogspot.com



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