Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pangea Day

It looks like there is a big organization being put together for May 10th on a global scale. Appropriately named "Pangea Day" will be held concurrently in different spots around the world. The aim seems to be simple:

Leading film-makers are seeking to change the way we think about other countries. This is one of a powerful series of films to be shown on Pangea Day, May 10, "the day the world comes together through film".

The "this" above refers to a film production from Japan where, using traditional Japanese instruments, Japanese artists perform the Turkish national anthem. You can see it below:

The relationship between Japan and Turkey predates what most people might guess:
The director chose the Turkish anthem because of the historical friendship between the two countries. In 1864, the frigate Ertuğrul was constructed in İstanbul. The government sent the Ertugrul with Commander Pasha and his crew to Japan. The voyage turned out to be fatal; except for 69 survivors, the Pacific Ocean claimed the lives of Pasha and his men. Deeply saddened by the tragic event, the Japanese Government helped the few survivors return to Istanbul, bringing with them the condolences of the Japanese Government. The historic event of the Ertugrul tragedy was memorialized in Oshima as a mark of friendship of the Japanese people for Turkey.

I am always excited to see any sort of big scale organization seeking to further understanding between different peoples. Unfortunately most of the time the people who most need to embrace these messages, i.e. people in positions of power, ignore these organizations but I still think they are a valid cause. Please check out the organization website - and see the other interesting movies on there too as well as reading the idea in a much clearer way than I tried to describe.

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