The 5th Worldwide Uchinanchu Fesitival
Ukwanshin Kabudan from Hawaii sings “to help maintain the spirit of Uchina”
October 22, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo
On the evening of October 20 at the Tenbusu Theater in Naha, a performing arts group from Hawaii called Ukwanshin Kabudan gave a performance entitled Ichimadin Shimanchu, which in English means, “Forever Islanders.” The four Okinawans from Hawaii worked hard to convey the message: “What will be left of Okinawa if we lose its languages. Let’s use the Okinawan language.” They put their heart and soul into performing Okinawan folk songs and Hawaiian music so as “to maintain the spirit of Uchina.”
The large audience sang Okinawan folk songs with the performers and responded to the show with constant clapping, hayashi (chant), and whistling. The performance was full of a strong sense of unity.
The performers were third and fourth generation Okinawans from Hawaii – Eric Wada, Keith Nakaganeku, Norman Kaneshiro, and Brandon Ing.
Wada said, “We are always concerned about Okinawa. At the moment, the local language (Uchinaguchi) is in crisis. We love Okinawa. Please do your best to use Uchinaguchi expressions such as mensore (welcome) and nife debiru (thank you).”
(English Translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)
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