Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cultural Exchange

Today some junior high students from Sendai (just north of Tokyo) came to Geruma for an afternoon visit.  It was a pretty interesting lesson in 'the rest of Japan' for the sheltered Geruma kids.  Usually when students travel, they wear their school uniforms, so it was a bit of a surprise when these Sendai kids showed up in casual attire.  It turns out they don't wear uniforms at their school!  (I thought they were mandatory everywhere.)  Some of the boys had earrings, one girl had green hair, they all slouched (who knew the Japanese were capable?), and they didn't show much respect their teacher/chaperones.

The Geruma junior high kids gave a short speech about Geruma, then did an eisa performance.  This is something the Sendai kids had likely never seen before, except on television.  Then the Sendai kids returned the favor with a slow dance involving fans and bells.  It was super cool if you just watched one kid, but as a group they hadn't worked on their timing.  What I liked best about this was having looked at each of the kids prior - with their colored hair and name-brand clothing - then seeing them all get up and be able to a traditional cultural dance from their region of Japan.  Just like our kids did.  I can't think of anything I can do that would hint at where I am from in America (or even that I am from America!).

And finally, just as it was getting time for me to leave, the two groups split themselves in half and formed two opposing (but combined) teams for a game of dodgeball.  I just caught the first minute, but I could only assume dodgeball was Geruma's idea as I saw some of the Sendai kids throwing the balls at their own teammates.. apparently confused by the rules.

1 comment:

Son of Higashi said...

I like the "face off" style arrangement of the chairs, though I'm not sure why.