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05/02/2013

Elephants Presented to Japan from Sri Lanka

The year 2012 marked the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and Japan. On March 12th, two elephants were surprisingly presented to Tokyo’s Tama Zoological Park to commemorate the anniversary.

The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa attended the ceremony during his visit to Japan. A group of Japanese children were also present at this ceremony and sang “Zou-san” (a Japanese children’s song about elephants) in Sinhalese to celebrate.

http://www.asahi.com/area/tokyo/articles/TKY201303120539.html (Japanese)
http://www.metro.tokyo.jp/INET/OSHIRASE/2013/03/20n31100.htm (Japanese)

As was written in the breaking news on September 13th, 2012, Sri Lanka is regarded as friendly nation and people towards Japan. Although there are many wild elephants, it was a surprise that they gave us two sacred elephants. At the same time, I started to wonder how they were transported to Japan because it would take too long to ship, too overweight and too tall to fly…

It was adorable to watch the children sing in Sinhalese. Many questions came into my mind as to how the ceremony was prepared, such as: ‘Who translated the song?’ ‘Do they know that there is a language called Tamil?’ and others.

Sri Lanka is famous for coffee and Mr. Wicky (known as “Wicky-san” in Japan), but it is also becoming famous for its resorts. I hope that Sri Lanka will become closer for more Japanese through the President’s visit and gift of the elephants.

May 2, 2013 in Sri Lanka |