UTAR Japanese Culture Club organised “Japanese Fiesta 2018” at Kampar Campus on 30 June 2018. Besides providing an enriching learning experience for both UTAR students and the Kampar community, the fiesta aimed to equip the participants with some basic knowledge of Japanese cultural practice. The one-day fiesta was also filled with various educational activities, booths and games.
Invited to grace the opening ceremony was Vice Consul-General of Japan in Penang Nakagawa Kosuke accompanied by UTAR Vice President for Student Development and Alumni Relations Prof Dr Choong Chee Keong, Perak Malaysian-Japanese Friendship Society Representative Yong Wing Yi, UTAR Japanese Culture Club Advisor Yap Yuet Ngor, Japanese Fiesta 2018 Organising Chairperson Ho Zhong Yang, UTAR staff, students and members of the public.
In his welcome remarks, Organising Chairperson Ho said, “First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the organising committee for making this event a success. Thank you for your effort and support in making this Fiesta a reality. I also would like to thank UTAR staff and students, members of the public for your support by visiting our Fiesta today. It is indeed a great feeling of accomplishment to see many visitors taking time to join this Fiesta.” He added, “The main objective of the Fiesta is to promote the rich cultural practice of the Japanese to both UTAR and Kampar communities. The Fiesta also aimed to educate the visitors on the different practices of Japanese people during their four different seasons, namely spring, summer, autumn and winter.”
Admiring the impressive effort of the organising committee, Prof Choong in his speech lauded the organising committee’s determination in organising such a meaningful event to UTAR students and the local community. “I am glad to know that this is one of the first Japanese Fiesta events held in Kampar Campus. I hope this enlightening event could be organised yearly to educate more people around us. It is indeed a great avenue for students and Kampar community to learn about the Japanese tradition and culture.” Prof Choong added, “I personally like the values of the Japanese people especially their team spirit and perfection. These personal values are something that we need to give importance in order to create a positive working environment. This is indeed a meaningful collaboration with the Vice Consul-General of Japan and we hope for more collaboration in the future.”
Appreciating the efforts of UTAR Japanese Culture Club in organising such an event to represent the beauty of Japanese culture, Nakagawa in his speech enthused, “On behalf of my consulate, I would like to extend my appreciation to UTAR and UTAR Japanese Culture Club for inviting me to participate in the Japanese Fiesta 2018. This is our first time to join the Japanese cultural event in UTAR and I am really honoured to be part of this event. We came to UTAR in March to participate in the language and linguistic programme and I was really impressed to see how UTAR organised events and the significance of the events held in the Campus for students and the local community. I am glad that we can work together again with UTAR to be part of this meaningful day.” He added, “The main objective of the consulate is to promote the Japanese culture in Malaysia as well as to build the network with people in Malaysia. We also aim to further strengthen the relationship with Malaysia by doing more cultural exchange programmes to learn the uniqueness of cultural aspects of both countries. We hope to nurture this beautiful relationship between the two countries and hope it could be developed stronger. This fiesta is also a virtuous way to learn, absorb and acquire the Japanese culture and language. I believe it will promote a sense of harmony among the students. Thank you organising committee for your great effort in bridging the relationships between the two organisations.”
The opening ceremony came to the highlight when the guests were invited to write their wishes on a wooden plaque called “Ema” and later hang it up on a hand-made shrine. Ema is a small wooden plaque, in which Shinto and Buddhist worshippers write prayers or wishes. The Ema is left hanging up at the shrine where the Kami (spirits or gods) would receive them.
The fiesta saw a myriad of activities, among them were Japanese traditional arts such as Origami and Furoshiki, Yukata (Japanese traditional summer clothes) fitting, Tarot card reading, food corners selling Japanese snacks and food, Japanese Calligraphy writing corner and Japanese games and toy corner.
One of the participants, Raymond Chong Tze Chung said he came all the way from Ipoh to participate in the fiesta. He added, “I have always been fond of the Japanese culture and language. This fiesta is indeed a great platform for me and other visitors to learn about a different culture. The fiesta also brought a sense of harmony and togetherness. I learned a creative technique called Furoshiki, an eco-friendly cloth wrapping technique that uses cloth instead of paper for wrapping. It’s a significant way to reduce the consumption of paper and reduce the production of waste. I really enjoyed the event and it was superbly cool.”
The Japanese Fiesta 2018 also saw some cultural dance performances, philharmonic orchestra performance, Aikido and Karate-Do performances and vocal performances by both the UTAR students and representatives from the Perak Malaysian-Japanese Friendship Society.
拉曼大学 Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR)