Young descendants of emigrants from Okinawa hold ‘first summit meeting’

Young descendants of emigrants from Okinawa hold 'first summit meeting'

Participants listening to the presentation by emigrants’ descendants

November 29, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

A group of young descendents of Okinawan emigrants gathered for the 1st World Uchinanchu Students Summit held by the World Youth Uchinanchu Association Hokubu Branch on November 22 at Meio University, Nago. About 100 participants, including 30 young people who are currently visiting the prefecture for training programs and who are descendants of Okinawan emigrants, discussed the history of immigrants in their respective adopted countries and future collaborations. The participants envisioned a future in which “Uchinanchu” (Okinawans) in and out of the country work together for development.

This was the first event to gather together emigrants’ descendants from different training programs in different municipalities in Okinawa.

The participants from the emigrants group, made up of people from five countries in South and North America, reported on their own immigrant society in their respective countries. Two participants from Peru, 21-year-old Andre Arakaki who studies at Meio University and 28-year-old Yukio Higa who currently works as a trainee in Chatan, introduced the nature and food culture in their country. They also explained how the Okinawan association in their country works to pass on its cultural inheritance in activities such as mending sanshin.

The representative of the Hokubu branch, Andres Higa, talked about how a sense of connectedness among Uchinanchu from different countries has been strengthening through events like the World Youth Uchinanchu Festival. The festival started in 2012, and Higa further said, “A cultural renaissance for Uchinanchu is happening.”

(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma) 

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