Sending prayers to the stars


The students and teachers of the Asian Language Institute on August 7 celebrated the Japanese Tanabata or Star Festival.

According to the insitute’s vice-principal Rajesh Dangol, around 150 students along with teachers, four of whom have come from Japan, took part in the festival, which was held here from 8:00 to 10:00 am.

On Tanabata festival, people decorate bamboo with many small pieces of coloured paper called Tanzaku and other paper craft. A person then writes a prayer or a wish on Tanzaku and attaches it to the bamboo. In the evening this bamboo strung with prayers and wishes is brought out and shown to the stars in the sky.

Dangol said Japanese teachers have been coming here to volunteer every year, and the institution’s aim is not just to teach the Japanese language but the Japanese culture as well, and the Tanabata festival is one good way for this cultural exchange.