Nursery rhymes to be sung to welcome Uchinanchu from all around the world

Nursery rhymes to be sung to welcome <em>Uchinanchu</em> from all around the world

In Okinawa City on the evening of September 30, members of nursery rhyme and school-song circles practice together in preparation for the 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival.


October 2, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

The “Choral Group for Okinawan Nursery Rhymes and School-Songs” (headed by Zenko Iramina), which consists of three nursery rhyme and school-song circles from the middle region of Okinawa Prefecture, is scheduled to participate in the 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Festival, singing nursery rhymes to welcome Okinawans or people of Okinawan descent who now live overseas and have come to Okinawa for the festival.
The participants have practiced hard to be able to deliver tunes filled with nostalgia. They say, “Even though you may be far way from your hometowns, nursery rhymes can provide emotional support by reminding you of the country of your origin.”

About 90 people from three groups such as “Nursery Rhyme Circle Bubble” (headed by Iramina of Okinawa City), “Choral Society Izumi” (headed by Michiko Toguchi of Okinawa City) and the “Singing Voice Circle Warabe” (headed by Ryoko Agarie of Uruma City) will participate in the festival.
They are scheduled to sing nursery rhymes and school-songs such as Nanatsu no Ko, Umi, Ashimijibushi and Momiji at the Okinawa Cellular Stadium in Naha on October 14.

Iramina performed in nursery rhyme concerts in the festival to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Okinawan emigration to Bolivia held in 1994 and that to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Okinawan emigration to Brazil held in 1998.
According to Iramina, one of the people who emigrated remembered singing Umi on a ship bound for South America, and thanked her for singing it. Another man heard some of the songs for the first time in 40 or 50 years, singing along as tears filled his eyes.

Iramina is enthusiastic about welcoming Okinawans or people of Okinawan descent who now live overseas and have come to Okinawa for the festival with nursery rhymes, saying, “Nursery rhymes and school-songs remind not only first-generation Okinawan immigrants, but also those of the second and third generations, of their hometown.”

(English Translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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