Japanese language popular among UBD students

National 2 minutes, 6 seconds


JAPANESE language is one of the most popular foreign language classes at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) this year, the Japanese ambassador here said.

Noriko Iki said the number of students enrolled in Japanese language is the largest compared to other foreign language classes at UBD.

The ambassador, who was speaking at the launch of the Japanese Language and Culture Week, did not provide figures on the students taking Japanese language classes at UBD.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, President of the Brunei Japan Friendship Association (BJFA) of UBD Nathan Chong Kok Kin said Japanese language is still popular among UBD students despite the growing K-Pop wave.

“I developed an interest in the Japanese culture because of animation. Apart from that, it’s because of the culture – how the Japanese do things very diligently, with much care and patience. There is a lot to learn from the culture.”

He described the Japanese culture as colourful and vibrant.

“Those who would like to learn about Japanese culture must have interest to make it easy for them to learn the language.”

Another UBD student, who declined to be named, believes the growing popularity of the Japanese language and culture will continue to increase over the years.

“Unlike other cultures, I think we are always fascinated with the Japanese language and culture because of its uniqueness. Manga and games are a big hit among Bruneians such as Naruto, Doraemon and Dragonball.

“I applied for a scholarship to Japan and got it. It was an amazing experience and I would encourage more youths to join as you get to experience such a unique culture,” he added.

The three-day Japanese Language and Cultural Week attracted a large crowd at the Times Square Shopping Centre yesterday.

The Japanese ambassador said the annual event organised since 2007, has been one of the most successful events held by the Japan embassy in Brunei showcasing its culture, society and tourism.

She said the event, which ends tomorrow, introduces traditional culture and modern pop-culture as well as information on studying in Japan, youth exchange programmes and travel.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Awg Halbi Hj Mohd Yusof launched the event.

The minister and his spouse Datin Hjh Kalshom Hj Suhaili were treated to an ikebana (traditional Japanese floral arrangement) demonstration by distinguished ikebana master Risho Saito.

There was also a manga demonstration by Manaru Tenkawa, who drew and presented a picture combined with Arabic calligraphy.

The Brunei Times