Giant kiwi mascots swaying to sombre violin music stole the show during the official welcome of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to Japan.
The surreal clip of the ‘Kiwi Brothers’, dressed in green and gold kiwi costumes with big white eyes, in a room full of men in suits, has drawn attention on social media.
“I feel like a photographer,” Ardern said, standing with the mascot.
Ardern arrived in Japan Thursday on her first overseas trip in more than two years, the Associated Press reported, as she seeks to boost trade and tourism ties after the pandemic-related border closures were called off.
The visit began with Ardern’s participation in a kiwifruit event organized by the New Zealand Zespri Group, the world’s largest distributor of kiwifruit.
You can say that the mascot dance has several meanings: apart from the fruit, New Zealanders are known as “kiwis”.
Amulets in Japan are a cultural phenomenon – they are used by all kinds of companies, government agencies and other entities.
The stark separation between the tone of the music and the emergence of the kiwi has been the subject of internet speculation. “I feel like a kiwi smashed the funeral door,” one Twitter user wrote.
This wasn’t Ardern’s first encounter with a giant kiwi. In 2019, she met them and stood side by side with them.
“This picture has brought so much joy and pleasure to my New Zealand office that the picture of my hand holding the Kiwi brotherhood still hangs in my office to this day,” she said, according to a report from Newshub, a New Zealand outlet. .
At Thursday’s event in Tokyo, Ardern also dabbled in Japanese calligraphy by writing the word “kiwi.” I took a second shot after an unsatisfactory first attempt. Meanwhile, his colleague Damien O’Connor, Minister of Commerce and Export Growth, decorated the cake with “as many kiwis as possible.”
In addition to the business talks, Newshub reports that the Arden group is set to participate in a sake barrel lid tearing ceremony.
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