When they said ‘multicultural’ event, that was a hyperbolic understatement. The MATA Expo at the Esplanade was truly a unique experience. The word different doesn’t quite sum it up.
Upon arrival, I initially felt like I had gone to the wrong convention, as about 75 to 80 percent of the attendees in line to enter the venue were speaking to each other in sign language. It was a rather humbling experience, feeling like the only one who could not understand everyone else. Even when the program began, the hosts went onstage and began to address the crowd in sign language. It was definitely a first for me, as I am used to being able to understand what is going on.
The whole show was done in sign language, from the address of the crowd to the opening dance number. Sure, there was music to guide the dancers, but the guy that was leading them all was singing with his hands! Even their contests – Hotdog-eating, Lolita, Cosplay and K-Pop Dance Challenge – were in sign language.
Truly a multicultural gathering like no other, the MATA Expo brought together the world of sign language with the world of sound. Different races and creeds, genders and ages, all united in enjoyment of the event. Even subcultures such as Cosplayers, K-poppers, and tattoo enthusiasts (whose artists took up half the venue to showcase their craft) were made to enjoy.
MATA Expo is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
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