I happened to have an opportunity to drop at a socializing evening for trying to tighten the friendship between Japanese residents in Pune and Punekars through playing futsal together. The event was arranged by Indo-Japan Business Council (IJBC,) an NPO organization aiming to facilitate economic, industrial and cultural collaborations between Japan and India.
IJBC (Indo-Japan Business Council)
Futsal is a mini version of soccer (football) played with five-member a side, enjoyed largely in Japan. We have an artificial turf pitch specially maintained for it in Baner area of the city, named Freekick.
Apart from an ad-hoc audience like me, I found everyone was actively participating in the games, including a couple of young Japanese girl students. The weather was also on our side in the way where the thunder rain had started the moment after the event was over.
In fact, the evening received overwhelmed responses with more than 30 people participating from both sides of Japanese and Indians equally. They consisted of students, expatriates, business people and others who were interested in Indo-Japan relationships. During the games, I spoke with a handful of Japanese students learning in the universities in Pune and saw a great leadership potential in them.
Later, I learned that the Japanese expatriates and students gather for the futsal socialization followed by drinking party almost weekly. What a refreshing and memorable time it must be for each member, and I believe they all work or study hard for the entire week longing for the evening.
There was an unfortunate accident of an Indian participant broke his fracture-treated leg again and had to rush to the hospital; however, the overall event was filled with joys, excitements, and exclamations.
I think such kind of sports socializations could be organized for multinational or international residents in the city, without limiting the participants' nationalities. Pune has a large population of German and Brazilian who are popular with their soccer love and thus it would gather a large number of members. If someone is taking this idea, please do not forget to invite me as an audience!
At the end of the event, a new Japanese bento lunchbox caterer "Your Bento" brought sample boxes of their products for Japanese people to taste and was receiving high compliment among people, especially young folks. I now look forward to ordering their bento along with my friends shortly.
The entrance of the rental pitch Freekick.
To the left is a Japanese student learning sociology in Pune.
He is going to do some internship in India next year,
and was in Dhaka, Bangladesh for an NGO activity last year.
Apparently overcrowded pitch, reflecting the high interest among people.
First year students of Japanese subject in TMV.
The event organizer was Onkar-san from IJBC.
He distributed a water bottle and a cute snack box to each,
on which he said his adorable daughter adhered his company advertisement.
Bento samples by Your Bento (apology for terribly blurred image.)
Luckily video shot the moment of a goal.