Sports Ministry conducts cultural sensitivity workshop for Tokyo-bound athletes

The Sports Ministry on Thursday conducted a cultural sensitivity workshop, named ‘Omotenashi’ for the Tokyo Olympics-bound Indian athletes and delegation.

The workshop, Omotenashi (the Japanese version of Atithi devo bhava) was organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), in association with the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the workshop, which was attended by shooters Manu Bhaker, Sanjeev Rajput, Deepak Kumar, Abhishek Verma, Yashaswini Singh Deswal, wrestlers Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia, Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Divya Kakran and para-athletes Sandeep Chaudhary and Yogesh Kathuniya, among others.

The main aim of the workshop was to intimate sportspersons with the intricacies of the Japanese culture — how to travel in a train in Tokyo, wear the kimono, use chopsticks for proper dining, bowing etiquettes and so on.

The workshop was conducted in the presence of IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta and a Japanese delegation comprising Prof. Hisashi Sanada, Chairman, Tsukaba International Academy for Sports Studies and Izumi Egami, a lecturer and a former air-hostess.

Talking about the importance of the cultural workshop, Rijiju said “Japanese culture and etiquette is very elaborate. You (athletes) are representing India as its ambassador. So, this cultural sensitivity activity is very important for you.

“We along with the IOA and SAI will provide the best support to the athletes. The philosophy of India has taken a full shape in Japan. And we want to transcend our deep spiritual connection to the arena of sports as well.”

Manners of daily life, from everyday greetings to public dealings and street manners to food culture, everything quintessentially Japanese was touched upon in the workshop.