What's the story?
It has been learned that the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Sports Authority of India (SAI) have invited professors from an esteemed Japanese university to impart training to the Indian contingent - from athletes, support staff, to coaches - on the culture of Japan.
There are less than five months left for the quadrennial extravaganza that is slated to be held in Tokyo between 24th July and 9th August.
Indian athletes and coaches are busy with the preparations. Those who have not managed to make the cut are giving it a final push to grab the opportunity to grab the ticket to Tokyo and represent India.
Japan's citizens are known to be quite particular about the behavior of their foreign visitors.
The heart of the matter
The visiting professors will be teaching the Indian contingent various aspects of Japanese culture. These include - when to bow and how to bow; never to eat while using public transportation; getting used to eating the Japanese-style packed meal - the Bento; learning to listen and not just speak.
Japan is a unique country and it is a great idea by the IOA and SAI to sensitize the Indian contingent travelling to the country.
In order to acclimatize themselves of the climate and conditions, many of the Indian athletes, coaches, and support staff will be travelling to Tokyo well in advance of the Summer Olympics. The training imparted by the professors is sure to come in handy during this tenure as well as during the Olympics.
For example, Indian Weightlifters will be training at the Nippon University in Tokyo while the archers will have their base set in Kurobe - a city that is over 400km from the Japanese capital of Tokyo. Furthermore, the Indian boxers are expected to set up a base camp in Hiroshima and make it their home ahead of the Summer Olympics.
Speaking on the development, Delhi-born Japanese professor Randeep Rakwal, told the Indian Express:
“We will educate them on how to behave with the general population, especially women, from the moment they step out of the airport. People here are very polite. That politeness should not be mistaken for openness. It is important to not take anything for granted."
A professor at the University of Tsukuba, Rakwal will be travelling to India to impart the training alongwith several other fellow professors. Traditional ways of greeting people, the strict laws on jaywalking, and using chopsticks for eating meals are some of the things the Indian contingent will be trained on.
Randeep also revealed that the primary focus will be on Omotenashi, that is the Japanese philosophy on hospitality and revolves around the principle of being polite. The 51-year-old further added:
“The tone of the voice is important; you don’t speak loudly and when you are using public transport, you hardly hear the noise of people talking. Politeness is an art in Japan. It is about listening, and not speaking too much. So the athletes and staff should not be impolite. The politeness has to be reciprocated."
Two sessions are planned for training. The first will be held in the capital - New Delhi - on 27th February while the second will be conducted at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala on 29th February.
The training will go a long way in sensitizing the Indian contingent and help them know how to tackle particular situations both in and out of the Athletes' village.
Around 100 Indian athletes are expected to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. While a majority of their time will be spent inside the Games' village in a sheltered environment, a fair bit of communication will be inevitable with the locals during travelling, and the Games' volunteers and officials.Published 11 Feb 2020, 16:04 IST