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Have you ever heard of the Kingdom of Eswatini? It is a small, landlocked monarchy in southern Africa. Last year, Sandile (Sandy) was one of the first two students from this country to enroll at APU. I met him in the student dormitory and became curious about the culture of his country. In this article I would like to introduce a traditional dance called the Sibhaca Dance. It is a dance for brave warriors.
The dancers wear bright quilted costumes, sing, swing sticks, and vigorously stomp their feet to the beat of drums. At the end of the dance, they tumble to the ground. This is said to be in the hope that their enemies will be doomed to fall.
Dance competitions are always held on national occasions such as the King's Birthday and Independence Day, where local groups display their skills. Although it is now recognized as a national sport, it was originally meant to be a fun event for the people to celebrate, compete, and enjoy the excitement of dancing. Sandy has also taken part before, and said happily, “It was an opportunity to learn about my country's culture, and I'm proud to have been able to participate.”
Sandy and I participated in the “Yu-bukkake Festival” of the Beppu Hot Springs Festival on April 2. They got soaked, but I think it was a good opportunity to learn about the culture of Beppu. I also plan to hold an event where I can convey Japanese culture to international students.
PHAKATHI Sandile Nduku
Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies(GSAM)
(Published in the morning edition of the Oita Godo Shimbun on April 18, 2023)
Based on a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Oita Godo Newspaper, since January 2022, Student PR Assistants (SPA) have been contributing their interviews with international students to the life and culture section of the newspaper’s morning edition. SPA will introduce different cultures and the interesting topics they raise from an authentic, student perspective. These student writers take this opportunity to get the newspaper’s readership and students interested in the world as well as aim to improve their skills with the aid of professional editors.
Nice to meet you! I'm Kodai Doi, Beppu Onsen Master and a 4th year APS student.
As a YouTuber, I am currently sending out new content about international exchange, travel, studying abroad, etc. at APU! Through my SPA activities, I hope to provide useful information for APU students, as well as for many people outside of APU, including high school students and their parents, to read!