Last night’s benkou kai, or study session,brought together participants from Okinawa, outer islands and Honolulu, through live videostream and skype. Possibly a first for Okinawan diaspora discussion through media, this session focused on “preservation vs perpetuation”.
The discussion did not bring any resolution to this topic, but did reveal that there are many who don’t really know about their Okinawan roots, and have many questions. An interesting comment was made that preservation and perpetuation can also be perpetuated and preserved, like in a yin and yang idea. The dialogue allowed for a revelation of numerous problems, concerns, and direction on the importance of preservation and perpetuation of various Okinawan topics. So much to tackle, but so little time.
This dialogue was just the beginning. It was not even the tip of the iceberg. As Norman said, “Its like the stage when you just wake up and in a daze still….things aren’t that clear, and you don’t have the clear picture”. We need to think and realize. Our Okinawan community both here and in Okinawa have not done this for over 40 years. Our issei and those in Okinawa who were born prior to WWII were born into the language, culture and customs. Its become taken for granted, but now, it is really in imminent danger. Danger of a whole chunk disappearing if we don’t take action. But again..the questions…”how”?….I think a clue to help with this discussion lies in the words of “Tinsagu nu Hana”…”Tinsagunu hana, Chimisachimi sumiti, uyanu yushigutu, chimuni sumiri. ” Like the tinsagu flower that we use to stain our nails, we stain/paint our hearts with things that were given by our parents.
Please feel free to continue this discussion through this blog. Pease add your comments, ideas, and questions.