Japanese culture and Indo-Japanese relations were celebrated through music and theatre at a cultural programme hosted by Nihongo Kaiwa Kyookai Society (NKKS), in collaboration with the consulate general of Japan in Kolkata and Paschimbanga Bangla Academy, at Rabindra Okakura Bhavan on March 12.
The 38th In-Nichi Bunkasai began with an Indian classical dance recital to the song Aaj Dokhino Pobone. This was followed by a comic play, Mondai San, performed by the senior members of the Indo-Japanese community. The story traced the journey of the protagonist Mondai San, who always starts his sentences with “mondai wane”, which translates to “the problem is that”. In a fateful turn of events, when his wife’s jewellery goes missing and everyone starts blaming each other, will Mondai San be able to solve the case?
A group song being sung at the event. The group was joined by Mrs Nakagawa, wife of the Consul General Of Japan in Kolkata
Next up was a group song sung by 15 members of the community. Mrs Nakagawa, wife of consul general of Japan in Kolkata, joined in as well. The songs spoke about the beautiful seasons in Japan and the story of a rose.
“I’m very happy to see that this event has been started now and my office is being able to support this event in showcasing the cultural heritage of Japan and India on the same platform. This programme makes a strong friendship between Japan and India and it is heartwarming to see so many Indian people learning Japanese and also performing in Japanese language tonight,” said chief guest and consul general of Japan in Kolkata, Nakagawa Koichi, in his opening address.
‘I’m very happy to see that this event has been started now and my office is being able to support this event in showcasing the cultural heritage of Japan and India on the same platform,’ said chief guest and consul general of Japan in Kolkata, Nakagawa Koichi
A documentary screened on the occasion showed The Japan Club’s initiative to unearth the lost stories of a Japanese school in the heart of Kolkata. The entire initiative was documented by the members of The Japan Curry and the audience was transported back in time to re-discover the school. Other initiatives of the Consulate General of Japan in Kolkata — from film festivals and manga exhibitions to calligraphy workshops and the Japan Pavilion at the International Kolkata Book Fair were also spoken about, offering a glimpse of a vibrant community and their proactive initiatives in promoting cultural exchange.
A scene from a documentary that was screened on the occasion
The youth band Yume had the audience swaying to their tunes. The five-member band put up a hybrid show and got the audience singing along. The members of Japan Club Kolkata came together to perform a group song with the lyrics displayed on a screen. The audience was welcome to join in the song ‘ Ue Wo Muite Arukou’.
Youth band Yume had the audience swaying to their tunes
A shruti natok (audio-drama), based on Rabindranath Tagore’s famous play Shuo Rani, was performed next followed by a drama called Mind Your Language Edition XIII. This short skit was all about what goes on inside a Japanese language class.
The event ended on a high note with a group dance, Bon Odori, being performed. The song and choreography for this dance was revived by the current community members. The entire audience was invited to be a part of the dance.
The entire audience was invited to be a part of the group dance
“This is the 38th In-Nichi Bunkasai. In another two years, we are going to be 40 years young. There’s so much creativity and talent here. Our strength is also increasing with 200-plus members in our organisation. All our members come together to make our events a grand success whether on stage or off stage. Our technically savvy members have contributed to live streaming our performances on social media,“ said Poonam Nand Dey, president, NKKS.