Okinawans and Hawaiians discuss how best to educate youth about traditional cultures
July 12, 2015 Shoichiro Yonamine of Ryukyu Shimpo
In the afternoon of July 11, the Hawaii United Okinawa Association (HUOA) and the Ryukyu Shimpo co-hosted a forum called “Connection Ichimadin (Forever): Future for Hawaii and Okinawa” at the Hawaii Okinawa Center. About 230 people from Okinawa and Hawaii took part. The participants were broken up into 18 round tables. They discussed ways to strengthen Uchinachu identity and preserve Okinawan traditional cultures through education. Okinawan Governor Takeshi Onaga and Hawaiian State Governor David Ige attended the forum and delivered their speeches. Onaga said, “I would like to study how the University of Hawaii was able to resuscitate Hawaiian language, and consider how we can apply this to our approach to resuscitating Ryukyuan languages.” Onaga expressed his idea of developing a strategy, based on the University of Hawaii’s approach, for preserving Ryukyuan languages, within a year.
Prior to the forum, a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the HUOA’s operating base, the Hawaii Okinawa Center, was held on the same day.
A Shinto ceremony was held at the “Hawaii Okinawa Plaza” to purify the building site ahead of construction of the commercial facility. The building project is aimed at raising funds for the Hawaii Okinawa Center. Those involved celebrated the construction.
(English translation by T&CT)
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