Ambassador`s Speeches and Interviews Ambassador's speech on the occasion of Rath Yatra Celebrations in Kawasaki City on July 10th, 2021

Ambassador's speech on the occasion of Rath Yatra Celebrations in Kawasaki City on July 10th, 2021

Embassy of India



Sub: Draft Speech by H.E. Sanjay Kumar Verma Ambassador of India to Japan on the occasion of Rath Yatra celebration 2021 at Kawasaki (July 10, 2021, Saturday, Time: 15:00-16:00 hrs)

Mr. Norihiko Fukuda, Mayor of Kawasaki

Mr. Masuyama Masahisha, Deputy Chairman, Kawasaki Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Mr. Jagdish Khemani, Secretary General Indian Commerce & Industry Association of Japan

Mr. Hirao Kouji, Chief of Kawasaki International Association

Mr. Gyanindra Mishra President OCJ

Mr. Atsushi Miura, OCJ Chief Advisor

I am extremely happy to be part of this plantation programme organized by Odisha Community in Japan to mark the 10th year celebration of Sri Jagannath Ratha Yatra in Kawasaki city. As you know that Rath Yatra or the Chariot festival originated from the eastern part of India, in the state of Odisha. The occasion is dedicated to the eternal journey of Lord Jaganath, brother Balabhadra and sister Subhadra in the chariot procession at Puri in Odisha. The temple town of Puri in Odisha which host the original event attracts millions of devotees from India and different parts of the world. Today Rath Yatra or the chariot festival is being celebrated not only in Odisha but also in other Indian cities in Gujarat, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi & Maharastra. With the passage of time, the chariot festival has gained immense popularity and is being celebrated widely across the world in big cities like New York, London, Los Angles, Moscow and here in Japan as a symbol of brotherhood, unity and integrity among the global citizens.

2. I must thank the Kawasaki city officials present here for giving strong support for this event. Both India and Japan share a common cultural heritage and bond of friendship dating back to ancient times. I am happy to learn that there is a glaring similarity between the Gion festival of Japan with the chariot festival of Odisha both being celebrated at almost the same time of the year.

3. As you all must be aware, the Indian Olympic Team is on its way to Tokyo. The Indian Olympic team has been preparing for this occasion for many years and I am pleased to know that Indian diaspora in Japan has been actively cheering the Indian team through a wide range of activities and social media posts. I would also like to invite all of you to celebrate their participation and wish them the very best for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympic Games.

4. Let me also thank the efforts taken by NPO Odisha Community in Japan not only in the promotion of cultural exchanges but also extending relief operations in case of natural calamities like Fukushima disaster in Japan and cyclone Fani in Odisha. Though India is “Janam Bhoomi” (Land of birth) for most of you but Japan is your “Karma Bhoomi” (Land of Work) and your responsibility towards both India and Japan becomes equally important when it comes to the honour and respect of India and Japan.

5. At the end, I like to thank the Odisha Community and all its members for organizing the festival as an annual event with cultural programmes enriching the cultural bond between India and Japan from time to time. Such celebrations & festivals give an opportunity to the younger generation of Indian Community to carry forward our Indian traditions as well as it provides a wonderful occasion to our Japanese friends to enjoy culture of India, and thus promotes mutual understanding and friendship leading to strengthening of P2P pillar of India-Japan Special Strategic & Global Partnership.

Thank you all, once again.


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