During the Education Awareness Week (March 11-14) organized annually by the Ministry of Education, Embassy of Japan invited students to learn Japan-Palau relations and various Japanese cultures. Approximately 100 people including high school and elementary school students accompanied by teachers visited the Embassy.

Through the presentation, students learned about Japan-Palau history and relationship, Japan’s assistance to Palau, and the Embassy organized cultural events. As 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Japan and Palau, the official 25th anniversary logo was introduced and explained to students. Students also deepened their understanding of bilateral relations through quizzes.

In addition, students enjoyed ‘Jyanken’ game (aikodesho in Palauan), learned about the Hina doll display which is held for Hinamatsuri, a day to pray for the health and happiness of young girls on March 3rd in Japan. They were also informed about the Japanese originated Palauan words.

The Palauan students were told about the words such as manaita (cutting board), hashigo (ladder), daikon (Japanese radish), kyuri (cucumber) and tamanegi (onion) for which the Palauan meaning and pronunciation is exactly the same as that of Japanese. Some students did not know that the words originated from Japanese and were surprised to realize that there are a number of Japanese originated words in the Palauan language.

The presentation was followed by a furoshiki workshop. Students learned how to make a shoulder bag and a hand bag out of furoshiki. Furoshiki, known as beroski in Palauan, is a piece of fabric used to wrap things. It is also used in Palauan culture as a trace of Japanese administration. However, the young generations today are unfamiliar with such culture. Therefore, each student seemed very surprised by how they each made a bag out of a piece of fabric by only tying knots. Since the import and selling of plastic bags are going to be banned in Palau from 2020, a lot of participants were willing to bring furoshiki as an eco-bag when they go out shopping.

The Embassy hopes to continue promoting attractive Japanese culture to Palauan people. (PR)