Edu bytes: Students’ wishes

Kathmandu:

“I wish I could go to Japan.”

“I wish I had a Japanese girlfriend.”

“I wish I could speak Japanese fluently.”

“I wish for world peace.”

These were just a few of the wishes that students of the Asian Language Institute, Bhotahity made at the Tanabata Festival organised on August 7. All the students had gathered early in the morning and were busy writing their wishes and hanging those on a bamboo.

To make it special, some of the Japanese instructors were clad in sarees while the Nepali students were wearing kimonos. With various performances like singing Japanese and Nepali songs, poetry recitation and a dhime performance, it was quite a lively morning.

Surendra Dongol, principal of the institute said, “We organised this festival to increase the mutual relation between the two countries. We started holding this festival since last year and plan to give it continuity in the coming years and do it in a grander way.”

Masako Fuiji and Teruko Hiraishi, who have been volunteering at the institute for the last nine years, and are here for a month or so every year, were also present.

Sharing her experience Fuiji said, “It was very encouraging to see young Nepalis joining in the preparations, doing research about Japanese customs and traditions, and we also learnt a Nepali song especially for the event.”

The Tanabata or Star festival is believed to be more than 1,000 years old. The belief is that two stars, Vega or Orihime and Altar or Hikoboshi love each other but they can meet only once a year at Tanabata night. So, on that day people put up decorated bamboos with their wishes written on colourful pieces of paper called tanzaku, hoping that their wishes will be fulfiled.