A Tribute to Odunde
Mr. BRADY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise to honor Odunde, Philadelphia's oldest and largest community-based festival, on the occasion of its 24th anniversary. The word Odunde originates from the Yoruba people of Nigeria, West Africa, and means Happy New Year. The festival is a recreation of traditional West African cultural festivals that celebrate the coming of another year through music, dance and prayer. Held in one of South Philadelphia's historically significant African American neighborhoods, Odunde attracts over 300,000 people annually and it has gained the reputation of being one of the largest African American street festivals in the United States.
Known for its authentic African marketplace with vendors selling a variety of artifacts, African clothing, educational materials and African, Caribbean and African American food, Odunde represents a tremendous economic opportunity for entrepreneurs.
Odunde is a vital cultural and educational experience that has become an important part of the Philadelphia experience. Odunde celebrates the rich cultural legacy of Africans of the diaspora and the experience enriches us all.