Members of the Waidaiko Rindo perform at the Japan-Pacific ICT centre.
The Wadaiko Rindo, a Japanese drum ensemble based in Melbourne, Australia wowed the crowd with their performance at The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Japan-Pacific ICT Centre on 5 July 2016.
Those present included former President of Fiji, Ratu Epeli Nailatikau; Australian High Commissioner; H.E. Margaret Twomey; British High Commissioner, H.E. Roderick Drummond, New Zealand High Commissioner H.E. Mark Ramsden and other members of the public.
In his welcoming address, USP Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Rajesh Chandra stated that the relationship between USP and Japan is very strong and goes back many years.
He mentioned that the entire USP lower campus was donated by the Government of Japan and they have also been the lead partner for USPNet, the pride of the University in being able to host 14 campuses in 12 countries, spread over 33 million square kilometres.
“Another major landmark is the building that we are in, the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre,” he noted.
“And in more recent times, Japan has been focusing more on enhancing relationships between youths in the Pacific and Japan. USP has been fortunate to be part of the JENESYS programme.”
“I would like to record our gratitude to the Japanese Ambassador, His Excellency Takuji Hanatani for the understanding and generosity of the people of Japan,” he said.
Professor Chandra further noted that it is very appropriate to have collaboration between Wadaiko Rindo and USP’s Oceania Dance Theatre because “interactions as such derive richness when cultures are able to absorb other cultures”.
“Out of such interactions emerges something new, rich and powerful,” he added.
Japan Ambassador, His Excellency Takuji Hanatani also acknowledged everyone for attending the performance and reiterated his Government’s support for USP.
“I wish to convey my appreciation to Professor Chandra and his team not only for tonight but for the wider cooperation with USP,” he noted.
H.E. Hanatani also announced that there will soon be a joint launch of the JENESYS 2016 programme, where 200 USP students will be invited to Japan for 10 days.
The objective, he said, is to create better understanding and promote friendship between the two countries.
According to H.E. Hanatani, Wadaiko or traditional drumming has been part of ceremonial occasions in Japan for thousands of years.
“It is quite similar to the i-taukei beating of the lali,” he explained.
“Over the centuries, it has become an important component of festivals and today it has established into a popular form of Japanese performing arts,” he added.
Wadaiko Rindo, renowned for energetic and drumming performances, has already performed to the delight of local audiences in 2012 and 2013.
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