Had a great time this morning at the ‘Teikyo Festival’ of Japanese culture which was put on by Teikyo University of Japan in Durham (held in the ‘Lafcadio Hearn Cultural Centre’) –
After arriving at about 10:30am everyone was given a program of events which could be visited throughout the day – there was a wide range of stuff you could do and see including traditional games, origami, tea ceremony, kimono wearing (for girls), calligraphy, martial arts and music.
One of the highlights was being able to watch a traditional tea ceremony which is a ritual way of preparing and drinking tea – mostly done as a hobby by people today (apparently). Basically, the tea is first prepared by the host, and then drunken by the guests. The tea was a bitter matcha green tea made of powdered tea leaves – almost clear in color, nothing like you’d normally drink over here. I don’t usually like or drink tea but I thought I’d give it a go – it was surprisingly nice!
Dotted about the place were hundreds, if not thousands of tiny origami models, some plain whilst others were made out of brightly decorated paper. The Japanese attention to detail is incredible, the students had obviously put a lot of work into putting the festival on – no wonder they’re top of the electronics manufacturing game!
Another highlight was the Kendo (a martial art) demonstration. Here two surprisingly aggressive girls dressed up in full protective gear and proceeded to bash the living daylights out of each other with long sticks! I managed to get some great pictures and even a cool video which you can download here (25 mb – right click and ‘save link as’).
After this we got some food (Japanese noodles with pork & cabbage) and I had my first experience of using chopsticks which was slightly tricky at first but I soon got used to it (photo’s available in the gallery!). The food tasted good and I managed not to make a fool of myself with the chopsticks!