Japan is known as the land of the rising sun. The concept is even depicted in their flag, Hinomaru, meaning, “circle of the sun”. The sun plays an important role in Japanese mythology and religion as the Emperor is said to be the direct descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu, and the legitimacy of the ruling house rested on this divine appointment and descent from the chief deity of the predominant Shinto religion. The name of the country, as well as the design of the flag, reflect this central importance of the sun. You have to admit, the culture and symbolism of Japan, perpetuated through film and television, to say the least, is fascinating. Just as fascinating is the Japanese language, which you can now learn at Goa University. Yes, that’s right, you can learn Japanese in Goa. The language course is the latest offering after last year’s introduction of a BA course in Portuguese.
A look to the far east
Goa University is in talks with the Japanese Government to sign an MoU which will allow for the varsity to have a Japanese tutor on campus to lead the three and a half month course while you learn Japanese in Goa. While they wait for things to materialize, the university has already called for enrollment for the course which is set to begin in the first week of February. As an introduction to the Japanese culture, as well as go over what can be expected as part of the course, an ice-breaker of sorts has been organised for January 24, from 3 pm to 4 pm at the university’s political science department. They have not confirmed if sushi will be served. The level-one certificate course is being offered in association with the Japan Foundation.
The implications of learning Japanese are far-reaching
Japan has been the second-largest economy for a while now, and third by GDP. Billions of Dollars are spent by the Japanese on consumer goods and services, while Japanese multi-national corporations usually have offices across the world. So whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to set up in the Far East, or just looking to join a multinational company, learning the Japanese language is a great advantage, especially since the course is open to non-university students as well. The three and a half month course will set you back a paltry ₹5500, with the only requirement being a valid 12th Grade High School certificate. If all else fails, once you graduate the course, at least you’ll be able to watch and understand some awesome Kung Fu movies; or teach Japanese at Goa University’s soon to be opened Japanese Language Teaching Division.
So if you’re thinking of learning a new language (it’s not too late for new year’s resolutions) to broaden your horizons, enrich your life, or crack some foreign business deals, this one-of-a-kind Japanese language course may just be what you’re looking for. For more details on how you can learn Japanese in Goa, you can get in touch with Goa University through their website at www.unigoa.ac.in. Kōun o! (that means good luck by the way)