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Japan Festival in Berlin

Celebrating the Land of the Rising Sun in January 2016

January 18th, 2016

Berlin has celebrated the Land of the Rising Sun for 11 years already. It will take place from 23rd to 24th January 2016, known as the great Japan Festival Berlin at the Urania on 4 levels, with 2 big stages and several event halls showing the diversity of Japan in the fields of art, culture, way of life and tourism. The main focus will be on Japan's capital Tokyo.

A total of 250 artists, musicians, dancers, singers and performers will perform on 2 stages and provide 36 hours of non-stop live performances. Among the main performers are the Taiko drummers, artists from Tokyo and two Kimono Fashion Shows, multiple martial arts presentations of Japanese swordsmanship, there will also be performances such as Sumi-e, Ikebana demonstrations, shakuhachi and Japanese Haiku and classic songs with the Ensemble Nagomi and the great mezzo-sopranos Setsuko Oshiro Jeanneret – Manga and Anime Show dance groups. People attending the event will also have the opportunity to participate in origami workshops and Go game will also be available.   

Around 80 exhibitors will show the diversity of the country of the rising sun. No Japanese requests will remain unfulfilled – from Bonsai to Japanese tea, sake, kimonos, furniture, home accessories, tourist information of tour operators, different tourist offices of the cities Tokyo and Kyoto, as well as manga, anime, cosplay accessories, Japanese art and design to culinary delicacies such as sushi and onigiri. Comprehensive information will be available at the stands of the Japanese Embassy and the German-Japanese Society Berlin, where the four levels are structured by the following topics: 1) “Japan – Yokoso!”; 2) “Japan – Travel, Artists and Culture & Fashion and Design”; 3) “Manga – Anime – cosplay”; 4) “Exclusives Japan”.

The interactive discussion involved questions to the audience, and an informative speech about Cyprus as an example of a fragmented society. A personal perspective was given on the history of Cyprus, as regards religious movements, and the diplomatic and historical relations between Cyprus, Greek and Turkey.

Greek Muslims and Turkish Muslims both have a presence in Cyprus (alongside other religious groups) and “The religious difference… started becoming an ethnic difference. Greeks against Turks, a new ethno national, ethno religious identity.” (As quoted by Prof. Peristianis). The speech highlighted this feeling of ethno nationalism becoming stronger over the years, as the two communities became more attached to their mother countries.

With the example of Turkey, Greek and Cyprus Prof. Peristianis addressed the need to try and understand each national identity, each representatives’ concerns and feelings and as such develop a resolution to the existing conflict. Prof. Peristianis opened up about the acceptance of Turkish Cypriot students at the University of Nicosia, as well as the cooperation between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot professors. Peace building measures were discussed: The suggestion of uniting football, unifying churches, allowing entry to either community in all of Cyprus. This situation presents an excellent example of cultural diplomacy at work in reality. The association of academics uniting Greek and Turkish Cypriot academics, this does present problems, for example: language. However a compromise must indeed be reached, through effort, belief and mutual will. A regime of tolerance must be cultivated to succeed in this union.

The floor was opened to questions after the deliverance of this excellent speech. It was a pleasure to hear from such an intelligent individual, and get this insightful perspective into cultural diplomacy with the example of Cyprus.


Marina Pejič, News from Berlin
Berlin Global