Learn kimono wearing, hear Japanese sing Indian songs

Saturday, February 19, 2011

BANGALORE - Fascinated by the kimono and keen to learn how to wear it, or want to enjoy Japanese singing Indian songs? Head to Bangalore Sunday, it is the Japanese ‘habba’ or festival time in this tech city.

There is more: watch the graceful movement of hands as tea is prepared, learn to turn paper pieces into objects of art (origami) or cut the paper sheet to delightful designs (kiri-e) or cut and fold the paper to churn out snow flakes, flowers or various patterns.

For the around 500 Japanese in the city and Indians in love with Japan, the ‘habba’ is a way to promote awareness and mutual understanding of the two cultures.

“It also gives Japanese language learners and teachers a forum to demonstrate the knowledge gained through their studies, and encourages direct interaction between local people and Japanese residing in Bangalore as well as among institutions and companies related to Japan,” the organisers say.

This is the sixth edition of the habba, an annual event started in 2005.

The theme for the 2011 habba is ‘Bloom, Blossom, Bond’.

It is organised by Japanese and Indians here in association with the Japanese consulate in Bangalore, The Japan Foundation, New Delhi, the Bangalore University, Bangalore Nihongo Kyooshi-kai (Japanese Language Teachers Association, Bangalore), Koyo Japanese Speaking Group and the Japanese Association of Bangalore.

The Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Karnataka) is supporting the event.

The habba, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., will be held at the Central College campus in the heart of the city.

The events include Shakuhachi recital by renowned Shakuhachi player Jumei Tokumaru and troupe. The recital would consist of traditional Japanese bamboo flute accompanied by Koto (Japanese harp) and Sangen (three-stringed instrument).

There will be Indo-Japan Quiz, Karaoke contest (Japanese songs by non-Japanese and Indian songs by Japanese), screening of Japanese Films - “Nitaboh” (Japanese animation directed by Akio Nishizawa, 2004) and “Godzilla” (science fiction directed by Ishiro Honda, 1954).

There will be stalls for Japanese games and cuisine.

The around 500 Japanese in the city work mostly in Japanese companies like Toyota (automobile sector), Satoshi Hata, chairman, Japan Habba 2011 organising committee, and a guest faculty at Bangalore University’s department of foreign languages, told IANS.

The number of Indians learning Japanese language in the city has also been steadily increasing over the years and at present “around 500″ may be learning it, he said.

“There are also many companies, like Wipro and Oracle, which hire employees and teach them Japanese,” Hata said.

A number of Japanese have picked up a few Kannada words and have become familiar with Indian traditions, he said.

“Many Japanese people come here to work and live with their families. However, I know of people married to Indians and (who) have chosen to live in Bangalore too. There is one Japanese lady who is married to a Kannadiga and speaks to her kids in Kannada too,” Hata said.

Like most people, Bangalore weather impresses Japanese while the traffic bugs them.

“I think they love the weather of Bangalore and hate the traffic,” he said, asked about one thing the Japanese like most about Bangalore and the one aspect they hate.

Filed under: Fashion, Lifestyle

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