Kendo presentation during the Arigato Event in Toride

Arigato Event in Toride

Group picture with host families in Toride
Group picture with host families in Toride

This was the day of our first Arigato Event for this session and for most of the participants. Although we trained really hard at the beginning of the week, it was still quite hard during the rehearsals.

But before that we started with Hiro explaining us the theories of traveling to other countries and the culture shock and adaptations. I found this to be very interesting.

After that we first walked through the program of the Arigato Event. What would happen, where do I stand, how much noise I’m supposed to make, etc. Also, after lunch we spent a lot of time rehearsing this together with our performances. Near the end of the rehearsals everyone spent some time on practicing their weak points or helping others with theirs.

Our performances as a group consisted of 2 songs, one of which we sang multi-lingually, a trivia and a word quiz – in which every country had two questions on both subjects and the audience has to guess, or know, the right answer – and a dance medley consisting of four shortened versions of famous Japanese songs, one of them being girls only and the other one a boys only dance. Other than that, some people also did something extra, like a cultural performance.

Before the official Arigato Event started we demonstrated what we learned on Tuesday with the Japanese cultural experience activity. The audience really seemed to enjoy it and the Arigato Event as well, even though it continued ‘till past 8 o’clock. Their enjoyment made me really happy and made all the hard work of last week really feel like it was worth the effort.

Bonus Story: After lunch we had free time. Previously we were told to not leave the building or the area, at least during small breaks, by one of the counselors. During the break when I was with a few other people on the parking lot catching ‘em all we saw that counselor and some others go to the konbini. We decided to follow and buy some ice cream, but when we came back, right on time, it turned out we were not actually supposed to do that. But considering it was a misunderstanding and everyone was back on time, it turned out okay and no permanent harm was done. You shouldn’t follow our example though.

Sabine Boom, The Netherlands

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