Okinawa Association of Bolivia holds New Year’s party
January 19, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo
On January 17, the Okinawa Association of Bolivia held a New Year’s party with Okinawan Bolivian students who are visiting Okinawa, in Naha. The Bolivian students are third generation Okinawan Bolivian and came to Okinawa with scholarships from the Okinawa Prefectural Government. Aina Ota has been studying Bingata, an Okinawan traditional resist dyeing since last April. Rina Shimabukuro has been hosted in Okinawa under the study program for children of Okinawan immigrants to overseas countries organized by Nanjo City since last December. Event participants celebrated the New Year and interacted with the students.
Ota is scheduled to stay in Okinawa for a year and is studying at a Bingata studio. Shimabukuro will stay for three months and is currently studying Okinawan traditional culture such as Ryubu or Ryukyuan classical dance, and sanshin. They are from Colonia Okinawa where many Okinawan Bolivians live. Ota said, “The spirit of ichariba chode (which in English means “once we meet, we are all brothers and sisters”) in Okinawa is applied to Bolivia as well.” Shimabukuro said, “I feel Okinawa has become urbanized. I would like to study Uchinaguchi (Okinawan language) because my grandparents can speak the language. I am surprised that many young Okinawan people cannot speak the language.”
The association held the event to encourage the students and to promote interaction between its members. They plan to hold the 11th Charity Golf Event, sponsored by Bolivia, on February 18. They will donate the earnings from the event to support students who will come from Bolivia to Okinawa.
(English translation by T&CT)
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