Japanese Tsunami Victims Commemorated at George Museum
Many hearts were touched after the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS), the Office of the Consul of Japan and the George Museum marked the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake and tsunami by hosting a children's artwork exhibition on 27 March 2012 to assist and support the survivors.
The aim of the exhibition was to pay tribute to the people of Japan, to remember those who have lost their lives on 11 March last year and also to say thank you to the whole world, specifically South Africa, for the role that they played in helping to rebuild a nation.
One of the biggest earthquakes that Japan has experienced in a thousand years has ended the lives of 15 800 people and more than 3 000 are still missing, with more than 240 children tragically orphaned. Damage to the infrastructure, buildings and facilities is estimated at about R2.3 trillion.
The George and Eden district has a special bond with the Japanese people which contributed to the significance of this event. During the 2010 World Cup, local people extended their warm hospitality to the Japanese national team, their supporters and the Japanese media. The artwork and paintings cannot restore the damage or heal the pain of losing loved ones, but the exhibition serves as a reminder that the plight of the tsunami victims is not forgotten.
The DCAS staff at the George Museum are very pleased with the difference they could make to other people's lives and with the overwhelming support that they received from the community.
Ms Thozama Ngcoko, acting manager at the museum, said that the museum would like to assist the Japanese on their road to recovery through these paintings and photographs. She mentioned how the Japanese Consulate appreciated the gesture. "We are giving our full support. They don't need to feel alone - we're in this together."
Thozama also emphasised the need to co-operate and achieve more. "It's really important to work together and this exhibition serves as living testimony of that. I hope that the exhibition will strengthen the friendship between Japan and the Western Cape."
She thanked the management and staff of George Museum for hosting the exhibition, and DCAS for making a difference.
Beautiful flower arrangements added joy and colour to the event, and learners from Holy Cross Primary and Glenwood Primary in George displayed their goodwill messages, also in picture form.
Good news is that the artwork can still be adored until the end of April 2012. This exhibition should not be missed. It illustrates how interconnected we all are.