Friday, August 23, 2013

Sharing cultures

Learning about the world and how others live on the other side of the world is extremely important for kids (and adults) to realize they aren't alone on this big planet, and there are more than one way to do things.  This past week my kids got a big taste of Japanese culture, and they loved it.  Japan has always been an important part of my family's life.  When I was a kid my Dad went to Japan for a month and had some art exhibits over there.  I have a Japanese pen pal that came to stay with us one summer before I went to college.  I still keep in touch with her.  More recently my Mom had the opportunity to go to Japan for about a month, and both my Dad and Mom keep in contact with their friends in Japan.  My mom has set up Japanese pen pals for the kids in her school.  All of my kids have Japanese pen pals.  So, we were very excited this past week when one of my Mom's Japanese friends and her friend came for a visit.  They visited the local schools and gave presentations, but we were extra lucky because they made us a Japanese dinner and shared a lot of things with my kids.   
They invited my kids to come over and help them make their Japanese dinner.

Miss E working on a type of Japanese pancake made with cabbage and pork and shrimp.  They put ketchup, BBQ sauce, and mayonnaise on them.  They were good!

Miss A and our new Japanese friend working on the pancakes.

The ladies were so nice and brought lots of Japanese candies, snacks, and gifts for my kids.

The kids had fun learning what all the things were called.

Then they got a lesson in Japanese calligraphy which is just beautiful.

They got to try it out.

They did a good job.

They taught them how to write "friend" "heart" and their names.

Pretty impressive!

Then they showed us how you wear a kimono.  These ladies were so cute and generous.  We had a wonderful time being with them and learning from them.  

That night as we were having our scripture study, saying prayers, and writing in our gratitude books I asked each of the kids one thing they had written down that they were grateful for that day  "diversity" was one, and "Japanese friends," "Japanese food," and "Japan" were others.  What a great learning and bonding experience.  We are so grateful for God's many children on this earth and how much we can share, teach, and learn from each other.

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