Taipei (AsiaNews) - With a great concert performed yesterday at the Catholic school "Blessed Imelda", the Sapporo symphony orchestra (北海道 札幌 交響樂團 台灣 感恩 之 旅) began a five stage tour in Taiwan to commemorate the 11 March 2011 (311 地震) disaster in which more than 15 thousand people lost their lives. The orchestra is in the island to thank Taiwanese people for the immense help given to Japan to rebuild infrastructure destroyed by the tsunami.
While other tour stops are open to the public, the Wednesday concert was conducted in a private for students of the Catholic Blessed Imelda school ( 靜修 女中) in Taipei, founded by the Dominicans and still under the direction of the archbishopric. The Dominican fathers opened the school almost 100 years ago, (their anniversary is next December) and then they entrusted it to the sisters who still work there.
Taiwan has a special bond with Japan, and the Blessed Imelda school has always had a special twinning with the Japanese Catholic schools. A Blessed Imelda student can experience and graduate in Japanese culture and the Japanese language in. Because of this particular curriculum feature, after the disaster of 11 March 2011 in Japan, the school enhanced its outreach and support to sister schools in Japan.
Prof. Zhang (張 老師), who teaches Japanese history and culture, enthuses that pupils feel very involved in this initiative: "The fact that an orchestra as important as that of Sapporo is playing in our school and to give thanks for all the ' help and support received citizens, touches us deeply and makes us proud. But above all it is a great lesson: that a great tragedy can bring us closer together as brothers and friends "
The director of the school, Prof. Ouyang (歐陽 校長), emphasizes the value of art and music in speaking to the hearts of young people: "This event highlights the value of our educational mission: art helps us to discover and develop the human and religious values that make us brothers and sisters. We want to thank the benefactors and all the people that made this concert possible. In the year of our centenary, it is an important sign that confirms the value of our school. Also in a few weeks we will celebrate Easter, a sign of resurrection after a tragedy: it is our wish for our Japanese friends. "
The disaster caused by the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami of 11 March 2011 resulted in a total of 15 891 dead, 6,152 wounded and 2,584 missing. Even today, Japan is still rebuilding the affected areas.