The Sports Ministry on Thursday organized a cultural sensitization workshop named ‘Omotenashi’ for Indian athletes and delegation that is touted to represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to be held later this year. Omotenashi (Japanese version of Atithi Devo Bhava) was organized by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in collaboration with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).
Sports Minister Kiran Rijiju inaugurated the workshop, which saw participation from shooters Manu Bhakar, Sanjeev Rajput, Deepak Kumar, Abhishek Verma, Yashaswini Singh Deswal, wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Deepak Poonia, Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Divya Kakran and para-athlete Sandeep Chaudhary, etc.
The main objective of the workshop was to intimate players with Japanese culture which included how to travel on a train in Tokyo, how to wear a kimono, how to use Chinese thorns for proper eating, bowing etiquette and more.
The workshop was organized in the presence of IOA General Secretary Rajiv Mehta and a Japanese delegation consisting of Professor Hisashi Sanada, Chairman, Tsukuba International Academy for Sports Studies and former Air Hostess and a lecturer Izumi Egami.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said that he is of the belief that Tokyo Olympics will be held as per schedule despite concerns about the coronavirus. The Olympic Games are scheduled to be held in July-August this year. However, Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), had said a few days ago that there is a possibility that the Tokyo Olympics may have to be canceled if the dangerous coronavirus infection is not controlled by May.
Speaking on the deadly coronavirus Rijiju said,
“The virus is in China, not in Tokyo. The current situation demands everyone to be united in fighting this crisis. We have to fight every situation together. I believe that the Tokyo Olympics will commence on 24th July.”
Rijiju, when quizzed about the importance of the workshop, said that Japanese culture and etiquette are very elaborate and the athletes who are representing India are as its ambassador. So, this cultural sensitivity activity is very important for athletes.