Thursday, August 17, 2017

Japan Myanmar Pwe Taw approaches

One could say that harmony was the theme of last year’s Japan Myanmar Pwe Taw, in which Japanese singer Hirahara Ayaka performed the well known “Mirai E” (To The Future) with Myanmar pop star Ni Ni Khin Zaw.

A participant at last year’s event. Aung Myin Ye Zaw / The Myanmar TimesA participant at last year’s event. Aung Myin Ye Zaw / The Myanmar Times

The annual celebration of Japan Myanmar diplomatic relations now has a more ambitious aspiration for its 2017 installation: new year, new Japan.

This year’s Pwe Taw, which will celebrate its third year on February 4, will focus on dispelling tired Japanese stereotypes and bring to Myanmar audiences the latest in Japanese pop culture, cuisine, and technology.

What started as a marker for the 60th anniversary of the two countries’ relationship has grown into a much anticipated free-to-enter festival. Over the years, both the crowds and variety of performers have grown in numbers.

“This time, the audiences can see more collaboration between Myanmar and Japan,” said Yusuke Matsuoka, the first secretary of information and culture for the Japanese Embassy in Myanmar. “Not just singing or dancing, we’d like to continue and grow this festival each year.”

From noon onward, this year’s Pwe Taw, held at the Shwe Htut Tin compound in Tarmwe township, will again feature Ni Ni Khin Zaw and Hirahara Ayaka as well as well Ahmon, Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein, Thar Soe, Saw Lar Htaw Waa and well known Japanese street dancers.

“I hope that many Myanmar and Japanese people come to this festival and get to know each other better,” said Matsuoka. “Especially since there are still many stereotyped images of Japan in the minds of Myanmar people. They don’t have the chance to see the latest Japanese culture here so I hope more Myanmar people come and see the diversity.”

In addition to performances on the main stage, the festival will also host over twenty stalls showcasing Japanese food, products, and promotions from the Japanese Embassy, NHK (Japan’s national public broadcasting organisation), the Japan Chamber of Commerce in Myanmar and the Yangon Japanese Association, the event’s key sponsors.

For more information, visit to Japan Myanmar Pwe Taw 2017 Facebook page. The Japan Myanmar Pwe Taw 2017 is a one-day only event on February 4 at Shwe Htut Tin Compound located in Tarmwe township.