The Indian athletes who are preparing for the Tokyo Olympics will have some off the field training as well. The Indian Olympic Association of India and Sports Authority of India have invited professors from a Japanese university to explain the country’s culture to athletes and support staff.
“Indian athletes are used to travelling abroad, but they may not be used to visiting Japan, which is unique in many ways,” Randeep Rakwal, a professor at the University of Tsukuba, who will conduct the sessions with his colleagues, was quoted as saying by Indian Express.
“So, it is important for them to understand the country’s culture, especially for those who will be staying in a host town, like the archery team.”
The Indian archery team will train in Kurobe — about 400 km from Tokyo — in the weeks leading to the Olympics.
The Games begin from July 24 but Indian athletes will travel before that to get acclimatised to the conditions in the country.
Rakwal, along with the rest of the university team, will conduct two sessions — in New Delhi on February 27, and at the National Institute of Sport in Patiala two days later — which will cover various topics: from their conduct within and outside the Athletes’ Village to the traditional way of greeting people, using chopsticks for meals and even laws on jaywalking.
“We will educate them on how to behave with the general population, especially women, from the moment they step out of the airport. People here are very polite. That politeness should not be mistaken for openness. It is important to not take anything for granted,” said Rakwal, a Delhi-born Japan resident.