The Discover Japan Club took part in the celebrations for commemorating 2017 as the Yearof Japan India Friendly Exchange by organizing ‘Konnichiwa Japan cultural festival’ which transformed into a little Japan island of all things local to Japan. This cultural festival was held on,18th and 19th November at DLF Place, Saket, New Delhi to strengthen the cultural bonds between our two nations asit became a platform for the confluence of cultures where language was not a barrier.
Thistwo day festivalwas endorsed by the Embassy of Japan in India as the official event during the Year of Japan India Friendly Exchange and supported by the Japan Foundation and the World Heritage Academy.The guests of honor for the first day of inauguration by cutting the ribbon were Mr. Ravi Chopra, President, Discover Japan Club, Mr. Sakamoto Takema, Chief Representative of JICA, Mr. Kaoru Miyamoto, DG, Japan Foundation India, Ms. Mizuho Hayakawa, Director, Japan Information Centre, Embassy of Japan in India, Ms. IkuyoShimakura, Second Secretary, Embassy of Japan in India, Mr. KazuharuKono, Secretary General, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industries in India, Mr. Markus, Vice President Discover India Club and Dr. UnitaSacchidanad, Vice President of Discover Japan Club, India.
The second day’s inauguration was held in the traditional way by banging on the Sake drum and saying Kampai for the long and enriching friendship and cultural ties between India and Japan. The guests of honor were Former Ambassador to Japan Mrs. DeepaGopalanWadhawa, Mr. Rabinder Malik, President of Discover India Club, Tokyo, Mr. Ravi Chopra, President of Discover Japan Club, India, Mr. Kanakogi and Mr. Markus, Vice Presidents of Discover India Club, Tokyo.
People of Delhi were in for a big surprise as for the first time ever they saw two Sumo Wrestlers (Retd) made their presence felt in the Konnichiwa Japan festival. They drew large crowds every time they introduced the intricacies of Sumo wrestling and performed in the specially erected wrestling ring. Both Yoshinori Tashiro and KazumasaSato deeply appreciated the Indian mud on which they held mock fights. When they took part in the Undokai the crowds were ecstatic and took part in pulling the role, a favorite sports of Japanese people.
There were stalls all over the open air court years and many took part in the FIFA18 Gaming Competition. The food stalls selling Japanese food and bakery items introduced Japanese food to the Indian palate, while the Japanesetea ceremony introduced the ceremonial preparations and presentation of tea with its deep significance.
The stage came alive with excitement as the Anime artists presented Cosplay and transformed themselves in DJs and played Japanese pop songs. Solo singers and the Koto performer brought the sound and music of Japan alive in the festival.
On display were beautiful specimen of Bonsai, Ikebana and Origami to showcase the culture of Japan.Lecturesand seminars by the members of the Discover India Club from Tokyo introduced Japanese, life, festivals, crafts and places to be visited in Japan.
“In the recent years India Japan relationship has undergone a qualitative shift as the economic relation between India and Japan is rapidly developing. Under this circumstance, cultural relations have become better and stronger to encourage the cultural interflow between India and Japan, promote better understanding about Japan in India and strengthen people to people contact. It is our attempt through the Konnichiwa Festival presented by Indians to let the people of India experience Japanese life and culture, customs, arts, lifestyle, festivals, tourism, and food, Mr Ravi Chopra, President of Discover Japan Club said.He further add, “We seek to promote youth exchanges between India and Japan through such initiatives. The festival comprises of many cultural demonstrations from traditional to modern, people will be able to have a slice of traditional Japanese culture while sitting in India,"
The festival achieved its objective to showcase and introduce Japanese culture to Indian people as on these two days around ten thousand people Indians and Japanese people mingled with each other.