Hanami is an age old and ongoing tradition entwiningJapanese culture and nationalism as Sakura also symbolizes a fallen Samurai who sacrificed his life for the emperor. Japanese welcome Spring with Hanami along with family and friends under the blooming Sakura trees.
Indians who form a large part of the IT industry, have incorporated the Japanese style of Hanami in welcoming Spring as well as celebrating many local community events pertaining to their respective Indian culture. Long-time residents of Japan, Dr. ShrihariChandraghathgi, Mr. Suhas Bhargava and Dr. Srilatha Bhargava conceptualized to bring an integration of all the Indian communities and Japanese culture on a common platform called Samskruthi. Samskruthi encourages integration and cultural exchange with the objective of enhancing mutual understanding and appreciation of each other’s culture and tradition and providing an opportunity for the next generation of young Indians being brought up in the Land of the rising Sun, a glimpse of the rich cultural tradition of India that they might be missing out being away from India, the Executive Members organized the very first event:Samskruthi’s Musical Spring Concert on 5th April, 2015 in Kasai Civic Hall, Tokyo, Japan.
The concert was inaugurated by distinguished SugamaSangeetha artists from Bengaluru:Smt. Ratnamala Prakash, Smt. Indu. Vishwanath and Dr. Rohini Mohan, lighting of the traditional lamp along with our dignitary Smt. RajeshwariSampathirajan Honorable Principal of Global Indian International School, Tokyo.The inauguration was followed by an invocatory classical Bharatanatyam performance of a varnam in praise of Lord Ganesha by a 13- year-old young, talented, local budding artist KumariSmrithi Pyarelal.
The musical concert commenced with the Indian National Song “VandeMataram” by Smt. Ratnamala Prakash, Smt. Indu. Vishwanath and Dr. Rohini Mohan accompanied by Mr. Aniruddha Malik another talented local artist on the guitar. Their enthralling golden voices fascinated and invoked a deep sense of patriotism among the audience.
The artists continued to bewitch the spectators with their mesmerizing voice singing to many popular regional, patriotic and movie songs. They also rendered their enchanting voices to old golden Hindi hits of yester years by LataMangeshkar and Asha Bhosle: Aajibdastan, Jaayiyeaap, Yehmeradil, Reshmiujala and Sayonara. Local budding artists Mr. Darshan, Mr. Niranjan Gadgil, Mr. Rajesh Kushwaha and Mr. Amish Dalal matched “taal-se-taal” with the visiting distinguished artists to songs such as Pyarhuva, Raatkihamsafar, Tere mere milan, Deewanahuabaadal, Dheeredheerechal and many more.The visiting artists culminated their session with a song dedicated to Indian soldiers by Shri Pradeep “Yeh Mere WatanKe Logo” which was very nostalgic and heart- touching.
The magical evening continued to captivate the audience with Japanese music and dance performances. Japanese culture was its simplistic and elegant best by way of Minyo folk dance performed by Aoyama Mineko sensei, the daughter-in-law of Aoyama Yoko Sensei, the founder of Aoyama style of dancing. Aoyama Mineko has been awarded the Prime Minister’s award for her contribution to Japanese folk dance. Aoyama Minekosenseiand her troupe performed 3 different styles of Minyo folk dance. The first one being the “Mugi-yabushi” – a Toyama style of dance; the second one was “Tsugaru aai-yabushi” an Aomori style of dance and finally the “Sado-Okasa” which is a Niigata style of dance. All the dances depicted tradition of local areasof origin. It was indeed mesmerizing to be a witness to such grace and beauty of Japanese culture.
Another aspect of the beauty of Japan lies in its traditional music.Okoto music (Koto) an age old traditional instrument is considered a very romantic instrumental music in Japan. Famous artists Watanabe SomiwakaSensei and Yamamoto Hisako Sensei played a heart rendering, soul-touching soft music on this instrument to the raga Sakura and Kaoru Hana leaving the audience totally spellbound and in awe.
A deep bond of culture and religion exists between India-Japan. The vibrant traditions and dancing culture of India is attracting more and more Japanese artists towards it. One such artist living in Tokyo attracted by the charm of Bharatanatyam travelled all the way toDarpan Academy, Ahmedabad, India to learn Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. The intense passion and dedication towards learning the art reflected when she performed her Arangetram (first solo dance on stage) in just 10 months an achievement as it usually takes 4 years to do so.Popularly known as KOKILA, Ms.Kyoko Miura frequently performs as one of the troupe members of the Nrithya Kala Kendra and presides over the Nrithya Kala Kendra, Japan. Kokila showcased her amazing talentin Samskruthi with an enchanting performance to Bhagyadalakshmi and Tillana.Her brisk and graceful movements accompanied by her lively facial expression emulated her intense passion and dedication towards the art.
Samskruthi had many local artists showcasing their talent on stage along in the presence of famous artists. Local dancing divas form Kerala gave a fabulous classical Bharatanatyam performance – aprayer to Goddess Mahalakshmi. These talented dancers perform in many events in and around Tokyo. It was breathtaking to watch them perform in a synchronized manner for the Musical Concert. Bollywood has become an integral part of every Indian, as part of the musical concert we had two popular local musical groups of talented IT professionals perform in a grand finale:Tokyo Tarang and The Indian Beats who rendered latest foot tapping Bollywood hits leaving the Indian and Japanese audience asking for an encore performance.
Samskruthi’s Musical Spring Concert 2015 was an overwhelming success celebrating the cordial spirit of togetherness of Indo- Japanese relations.The artists enchanted and hypnotized the spectators with their enthralling performances.
The Musical Spring Concert 2015 organized by Samskruthi was supported by EcoCycle Corp, Tokyo; Global Indian International School, Tokyo; State Bank of India, Tokyo; Agera Consulting, Tokyo; Mediscan Diagnostic Center, Bidar, India and Urbanacreage, Bengaluru, India. Samskruthi humbly thank each of the supporters and well-wishers for the encouragement and inspiration received.
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