Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Celebrating cultures @ your library!

Arigatou gozaimasu! That's "thank you" in Japanese, and that's what over a dozen school-aged kids were calling out at the end of our August 18 afternoon program, "Japanese Tea."

The event began with learning a few introductory Japanese words and their proper pronounciations (such as "konnichiwa") as well as an explanation of traditional Japanese dress (yes, I wore my own yukata--a summer kimono). The customs of a tea ceremony (sadou) were discussed, as well as the differences between a traditional tea ceremony and the one we would be having. We did not drink from chawan tea bowls or whisk matcha green tea powder, but we did get to taste sencha green tea and try treats straight from Japan: red bean buns and green tea cookies.

After a quiet snacking seated on the floor with traditional Japanese music playing in the background, the kids were introduced to four different kinds of kanji (Japanese word symbols) that they would be learning to draw: "chikara" (power), "tomo" (friend), "yume" (dream) and "ai" (love). Once mastered in ink, they graduated to paint and brushes to create full-sized calligraphy symbols to take home.

The tea officially ended with a raffle for free admission to SushiSKool at Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort where four lucky winners can now learn the basics of sushi etiquette, how to order sushi, how to handle chopsticks and, of course, get to eat sushi in these fun classes for kids and teens.

Dewa mata kono tsugi! (see you next time!)

--Miss Stephanie

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