A welcoming party, called the “Hearty Party” for foreign people who came to Kagoshima this spring was held on the 24th of May, and was organized by Kagoshima International Exchange Foundation.
This party used be called “Haru-no Tsudoi (春の集い)”, and it used to be organized by Kagoshima International Citizens’ Society. The society has become Kagoshima International Exchange Foundation from April this year, and this event was the first event for the foundation!
Many foreigners and native Kagoshima citizens enjoyed the party this year, too.
First, the foreign newcomers lined up in front of citizens of Kagoshima, and there was a short opening ceremony. After the speeches are finished the party had begun!
Various cooperative bodies voluntarily helped people to have experiences of Japanese culture such as ikebana (flower arrangement), tea ceremony, origami and other things this year, too.
The photo below is the tea ceremony experience.
People trying on kimono.
People were enjoying experiencing these cultural things and chatting, while eating snacks from all over the world.
Our organization, “Kagoshima Internationalization Council” helped people experience “national costumes”.
We got together 2 and a half hours before the party, and we started with practicing wearing the costumes.
The most difficult ones are the Indian sari and Korean Chima jeogori, pictured above.
You wrap the Sari, a long cloth around the waist making pleats in front, then drape the rest of the cloth over the shoulder.
We also practiced how to tie the Chima jeogori ribbon.
There are many other national costumes, so we learnt how to wear then one by one, and sometimes we tried them on.
I’d like to wear a Chinese dress just once in my life…
This time, students of Kagoshima Immaculate Heart College (鹿児島純心女子短期大学) helped our booth.
The students were cheerful and helpful, and I was very happy to be with them.
I heard that the school motto of the college is “Saint Mary, I am willing to do jobs no one else wants to do”, and the students did any jobs happily and were very self-motivated. I felt the party had a brighter and friendlier atmosphere than in past years, and I think that’s because of the students.
Now, our booth run by these members had more people to try the costumes than usual! Some of them are groups of parents and children, also more men came to our booth.
The photos below are people who tried on the national costumes and agreed to put their photos on this site.
The costumes of the ladies on the right and middle are their own costumes.
We had a girls’ hanbok this year.
The little brother cried when his mother tried to put the trousers on him.
He looks so cute without them anyway.
A mother and her daughter.
She is holding arranged flowers which she made at the ikebana booth.
Thank you everybody for coming to our booth!
By the way, a picture-story show for little children was also held in another room by the foundation staff.
It was a very entertaining show with gestures, and children were listening attentively event though it was all in English.
Now, the party got really lively, and the Kagoshima Immaculate Heart College students led the last dance “Fortune Cookie in Love”
I help people at the booth every year until the party is over, so I don’t dance, but I like to watch the dancing.
This year’s dance was livelier than most years, and there was a sense of unity among people.
I think the biggest aim of the party is for newcomer foreign people to enjoy it. I was happy to see them more relaxed and enjoyed themselves as the party went on.
Many citizens of Kagoshima city also attended the party, and enjoyed the international exchanges. I’d like to help these events to aim at real exchange between people, and not for the aim of practicing English.
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