For obvious reasons the daily news and information from Japan presently have a special personal meaning to me. However I realized some days ago, how the reports on the nuclear catastrophe and its consequences takes up the major part of the broadcasted news, and also form the main target for the worldwide interest in Japan. This is understandable, since nuclear power and its risks create diversity in many countries and Fukushima clearly shows to people what can happen.
Among all the concerns and worries these reports caused me I noticed in myself how the initial natural disaster and its direct consequences on the people have been pushed to the background by the atomic threat - just as the news and information on the consequences of the earthquake and the tsunami have become relatively scarce. They have been brought back to my consciousness only recently by e-mails from Japanese Square Dance friends.
Here are the naked numbers (as on April 5th):
More than 12 000 dead!
More than 15 000 lost!
36 Square Dance clubs with 896 dancers are located in the affected regions!
So far we know that dancers from 4 clubs have lost their homes!
With 9 clubs and their dancers contact is lost all together!
These are shocking numbers and fates and they cause a sadness that leads to a wave of compassion and solidarity among Square Dancers worldwide - to assure our Japanese friends during this time that they are not alone with their troubles and need. Uncounted letters of consolation and human support have reached Japan since the earthquake and the vast readiness to make donations is also a sign for the sympathy and support within our worldwide family of Square Dance. In Japan all this is received very gratefully and appreciated as a sign of feeling connected with each other.
To offer a little relief to the local need we have opened an account for donations, which you can find in the board report of this bulletin. The collected money will be transferred to the JSDA (the Japanese Square Dance Association), which will use it exclusively to help affected square dancers. I ask all dancers for their support and call to the EAASDC fund raising campaign for Japan: help us with your donation! Raise funds at each dance, each event, each club night and activate each member of our community for our friends in Japan.
My plea to all of you: Remember in this context, and again in general, the human ideals of our hobby: "to help and be there for each other!"