Three young people from South America eager to learn about Okinawan culture

Three young people from South America eager to learn about Okinawan culture

On August 1, at Ginoza Village International Exchange Center, Mayor Azuma met (from the left) Iha, Shinzato, and Yara, who will participate in the international exchange until the end of October.


August 7, 2010 Ryukyu Shimpo

On August 1, the opening ceremony for the 27th South America Youth Internship was held at Ginoza Village International Exchange Center. Its goal was to welcome three young people from Argentina, Brazil, and Peru who are descendants of migrants from Ginoza Village.

This year’s interns are a fourth-generation Okinawan from Peru, Andrea Sayuri Nakasone Yara; a second-generation Okinawan from Argentina, Gabriele Shinzato, and a third-generation Okinawan from Brazil, Fernanda Hiromi Iha. Through until the end of October, they will learn about making sanshin, dance, and shishimai (or lion dance).

At the opening ceremony, Mayor Hajime Azuma encouraged them to draw upon their pride as Ginozanchu to learn and devote themselves to the community.

Yara said, “I would like to learn about the sanshin, to make many friends and to talk to people about Peru.” Shinzato, whose father and sister were also interns in the past, said, “I am so happy that my dream to come to Okinawa has actually come true. I want to learn about Okinawan culture and to meet many people while I’m here.” Iha said, “My grandfather was born in Ginoza. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be able to stay here for three months while I study dance.”

The internship program started since 1986. To date, the Ginoza Municipal Office has accepted 85 interns.

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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