Monday, March 12, 2012

Remembering 3/11

A year has passed since the triple disaster- Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear crisis - hit Japan's north eastern Tohoku region. The region's ordeal began at 14:46 hrs on that fateful Friday on March 11, 2011 and it continues. It will be years or perhaps decades before things change for people who have lost their loved ones, their homes and life's savings in the disaster. 
Yesterday was the first anniversary of the disaster and events were held all over the affected areas and even in other parts of Japan. Prayers were held for people who had lost their lives and messages of hope were given out for people who had survived. 
In Iwaki city where we live, a Candle night event was held in the Taira Chuo Park,near Alios, the performing arts center. 

Thousands of candles were lit in the park a little before sunset and they glowed into the night. The candle holders carried prayers for the departed souls and messages of hope for the survivors. 

A troupe of dancers from Okinawa also performed at the event. 
There was also a poetic rendition focussing around the disaster. 

The entire park was aglow with candles in the evening.

A local school band played songs of hope. Their rendition of " I love you & I need you Fukushima", was indeed emotional for the gathered audience.   
The song is a single by the group "Inawashiro-kos", a group formed by members of popular music groups, a month after the March 11 disaster. Their hit single " I love you & I need you Fukushima" captured the hearts of people because it carried a message of support from all over Japan to Fukushima prefecture, the hardest hit in the nuclear crisis. 47 of Japan's top actors and actresses,each representing the 47 prefectures of Japan, were roped in to feature in the video.
While nothing said or written can compensate for what the people in the region have faced or lost in the past one year, all I can say is, our prayers are with you. Ganbarou Tohoku, Ganbarou Fukushima. 

As they say in Iwaki dialect, Ganbappe Iwaki. 

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