Tuesday, March 15, 2011

International Exchange Program 2011 ・ 国際交流プログラム2011

It’s been quite a while since the last post, and quite a lot has happened, namely the huge earthquake that shook Japan last Friday. For anyone who has seen the pictures, the level of damage is sobering, and I can’t recommend enough that people do what they can to help. Many organizations such as Doctor’s Without Borders, Save the Children, and the Red Cross among others are planning to provide aide, and donations of any size can always do something.


The Kansai region was less affected, so here in Seika we were able to go ahead with the International Exchange Program, where everybody seemed happy to cook some good food, have a laugh and try to think about something else than the devastation for a little while.

The International Exchange Program is held every year, and promotes exchange through the best way The theme of the event was, “My Favorite Day,” where participants talked about some of their favorite memories, or what would qualify as a great day for them.


There were also presentations from two recipients of the Seika study abroad grant, a young girl who went to high school in the states, and a retired man who went to France to study the art of stained glass. I laughed a few times as the girl described the things that shocked her about American life, like giant birthday cakes and how many presents people get at Christmas. The man who studied stained glass actually brought in some of his work, which was awesome to see. Despite speaking very little French, the man said he had a great time, and it was quite inspiring to see how anyone with a desire to learn something new can achieve it.

However, the real exciting part, at least for me, was the cooking. A few of the foreign participants were asked to teach how to make traditional meals from their home country. I too was asked, and as my cooking is about as bad as my ballet, I hesitated at first about what to teach. Eventually I decided on the good old American classic, rice krispie squares. They’re pretty hard to mess up, kids love them, and the ingredients are all easily found in Japan. Other people made slightly fancier food, like Chirashi-zushi, Chicken kebabs with peanut butter sauce, and the truly awesome deep fried bananas. Although I may have lost out in presentation, the kids at the event devoured the rice krispie treats, so I consider it a rousing success.


After eating, everyone gathered again to try signing “Doremi,” the famous song from sound of music, in a few different languages. Of course we gave the English version a shot, but there were also Chinese, Romanian, and Japanese versions that were a lot of fun to learn and sing. Not content with just singing in a foreign language, we also gave the song a try on hand bells, and though I don’t think we’ll be giving concerts anytime soon, it was still fun to try and make some music.

It’s been a very rough and stressful week for everyone in Japan, so it was nice to see people relax, meet new people, try new foods, and just have fun.

1 comment:

  1. カイ,
    thank you for coming Tokyo on Sat!
    it really made me powerful:)

    wow, how beautiful the work of stained glass is.
    what we need is time with enjoyment like this program.
    (i'm little bit sad that i can say such an ambiguous comment....)

    well, see you next time!
    take care!!