Last year when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe from Japan and Narendra Modi from India met, they announced 2017 as a year of Japan-India friendly exchanges as an ancillary initiative to nourish the relations between the two. Promises made have fructified in the form of the Konnichiwa Japan cultural festival.
These exchanges date back to the time of Bodhisena, an Indian Buddhist scholar and monk, who was spreading Buddhism in Japan. “We also saw the Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru gifting Japan an Elephant named Indra to uplift Japan spirit post World War II. Moreover Japan has been part of our childhood memories, be it Ninja Hattori to Doremon to the most recent memory of Modi hugging and having tea in India with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe,” says Selyucus Markus, General Secretary, Discover Japan Club, that’s organising it, along with World Heritage Academy in support of Embassy of Japan and Japan Foundation in India.
Two sumo wrestlers are flying to India on All Nippon Airways (ANA). Taiko, an ancient Japanese form of percussion using large drums, has been included. Japanese dance from Okinawa, a Japanese island in the East China Sea, will be staged. Undokai (sports meeting), in addition to FIFA 18 gaming competition and anime cosplay and shigin (reciting Japanese poem or a Chinese poem read in Japanese) have been included in the plan.
The festival will transform into a little Japanese island of all things local to their country. You have a Japanese tea ceremony, also known as Way of Tea, is the ceremonial preparation and presentation of matcha powdered green tea.
Bonsai, Ikebana and Origami arrangements will be displayed all over. All this will be complimented by singers and dancers from Japan. There will Cosplay (a hobby in which participants called cosplayers wear costumes and accessories to represent a specific character).
This year also commemorates the 60th anniversary since the cultural agreement came into affect in 1957. The relationship between the two has lasted because of many similarities between the two. “Both countries value their artistic repository. Indian Goddess Sarswati is worshipped in Japan as Benzaiten. Both countries are family oriented . From eating together to staying with parents after marriage , to treating guests like God, they’re on the same page,” says Markus.
This wonderful connection between India and Japan, is not limited by just political and economic ties. It makes space for an appreciation of diversity and encourages the two to champion the cause of one world one family aphorism.
Konnichiwa Japan : November 18-19, from 12 noon to 10 pm, DLF Place, Saket .