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When kimonos, origami and ikebana took over namma city

Staff Reporter
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CULTURAL EXCHANGE:Kimono, a Japanese traditional dress, was a hit among the visitorsat the Japan Habba 2012 in Bangalore on Sunday.— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy
CULTURAL EXCHANGE:Kimono, a Japanese traditional dress, was a hit among the visitorsat the Japan Habba 2012 in Bangalore on Sunday.— Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

The “land of the rising sun” descended here on Sunday at the Japan Habba which was held on the Central College campus of Bangalore University.

Anything Japanese was the buzzword at the habba, which was organised to celebrate the cultural exchange between Indians and Japanese, as this year's slogan says: “60 years, two nations, one goal” with the theme “Kizuna” (friendship ties).

Coinciding with the 60{+t}{+h}year of Indo-Japanese diplomatic relations, the annual habba was organised by the Consulate of Japan in Bangalore, the Japan Foundation in New Delhi, the Bangalore Japanese Association, Bangalore University, Bangalore Nihongo Kyooshi-kai (Japanese Language Teachers Association), and the Koyo Japanese Speaking Group supported by the Indo-Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Karnataka.

Origami

Origami, the traditional Japanese art of paper folding, was the star attraction at the event. Interestingly, more Indian origami artists dominated the scene. Visitors were seen hovering around Krishna Panyam, whose striking art works used no glue and were assembled on the basis of tight foldings that served as locks.

The pieces were made using visiting and wedding cards, with six-layer packs, and even an old issue of a newspaper which was converted into a cap. G.C. Rashmi's complex swan model comprising 700 modules (folds) also attracted a fair share of visitors.

The kimono wrapping section appeared to be a hit with the women who then were seen queuing up to wear the traditional Japanese dress.

Kanako, who was helping visitor Nirmala Sreenivasa wrap the costume, explained that the five-metre garment could be in cotton for casual wear and in silk for festive wear.

The obi belt is to ensure that the entire dress is in one straight line, she explained. For Ms. Sreenivasa, the first-time experience was a little uncomfortable, though she was excited enough not to let go of it soon.

Earlier, during the inaugural ceremony, Bangalore University Vice-Chancellor N. Prabhu Dev drew parallels between the two cultures, while Koichi Ibara, Head of Japan Consulate, spoke about the habba being listed as the official event of the 60{+t}{+h}year.

S. Janakiraman, president of the Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industries, emphasised the importance of cultural understanding in improving business ties.

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