Date of activity: June 17th
Today was host-family day in Omuta. Host-family day is a day on which you enjoy your day with your host-family. Most host-families take you out to see famous or fun places in the area. but I stayed home. Although I stayed home, I think I had one of the most special experiences that day. I learned to perform the tea ceremony. The tea ceremony is a Japanese cultural activity in which you prepare green tea, macha, and present it to your guests. My host-grandmother, who also lives in the house, loaned me a kimono. She helped me to get all the parts of the kimono on the right place. I even wore an under-kimono (I am not sure how it is called) and tabi, which are white socks. My two host-sisters also wore kimono’s. One of my host-sisters, who is nine years old, was the host. She prepared the tea and presented it to us. After a while, they asked me to present the tea. This was a great opportunity. My little host-sister showed me how to do it. The tea ceremony follows a tight set of rules, even the way you hold everything and the place you put everything is decided. It was quite hard to perform the tea ceremony properly and neatly. And after a while my legs hurt from sitting on my knees. But it was very special to learn this piece of Japanese culture from my little host-sister. Especially, because the tea ceremony is not performed often by Japanese families, I am really grateful that my host-family let me experience this!
(Iris Spruit – the Netherlands)