It’s safe to say that helping two countries get along is a lot more challenging than it seems. There are so many different nuances in a culture that even if it’s in their best interest, some countries just don’t want to understand how other people live. It’s even worse when it comes to countries that live very differently, such as Japan and Russia. Yet thanks to the efforts of certain organisations and individuals like Patokh Shodiev, these two countries with opposing cultures are somehow appreciating and respecting the other’s culture better than most other nations.
Bridging the gap
Surprisingly enough this wasn’t achieved through the guise of political advantages, but rather simply the appreciation of each other’s accomplishments. Ever since he was young, Dr Chodiev has always had the dream of spreading Japanese culture throughout Russia. He studied International Law as well as Japanese with those goals in mind. Having spent time in Japan, he was able to build contacts and meet like-minded individuals, which led to the birth of the International Chodiev Foundation.
Appreciation through technology, music and theatre
Currently, the International Chodiev Foundation is known for sponsoring two particularly special festivals. The first is a festival being held in Japan and is so popular that it tends to last eight months. That’s a very long time as far as festivals go, and it’s also held all across Japan. The focus of the festival – called the Exchange – is all about the appreciation of Russian performing arts and theatre. Some of the very brightest talents travel to Japan not just to enjoy the festivities but also to give the locals a performance to remember. The festivities also help to teach the locals all about Russian culture
Where the Exchange is all about music and performing arts, the J-fest occurring in Moscow is all about the appreciation of Japanese technology. There are even workshops available for those who want to understand how specific Japanese gadgets work, which helps a great deal toward understanding Japanese culture.
Going beyond Russia
Aside from the two festivals, there is also the legendary Kubota Collection – which is a set of kimonos dyed in Itchiku Kubota’s take on Tsujigahana. This old method creates fabric so beautiful that anyone around the world will appreciate it – something that the ICF understood. It’s the main reason why they sponsor and fund the collection’s foray into global touring. It’s something that goes beyond Russia, and it helps Japan’s relationship with the rest of the world.
To conclude, sometimes differences in culture can actually be an advantage. It’s why individuals like Patokh Chodiev was able to harness the cultural advantages of both countries and use them to bridge the gap. It’s this fascination of culture that has led to something of a renaissance, and it’s an example the rest of the world could certainly learn and benefit from. With any luck and the help of the International Chodiev Foundation, Russian culture might one day experience the same kind of advantages that Japanese culture is enjoying all across the world.