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<< UMEX Summer Garden Party in August 2004 >>

Joseph Sirengo
2nd Year IDP Student from Kenya
Having come from a far country in East Africa, I was afraid of suffering a culture shock in Japan. However, my fears waned when I realised that cultural diversity can be used in fostering international unity as well as sharing and learning useful ideas. I never knew that Japanese people had such a rich culture that enabled them enjoy all the four seasons in a year. Such seasons like fall, winter, spring and summer, of course, are not experienced in my country which lies within the tropics.

There are various cultural events that are organised in each season. I was lucky during this summer to participate in one event that I always yearned to attend during my stay in Japan. This is the Kimono festival.

The day and time for the party, 21st August 2004 at 6:00pm, came and I was excited to arrive on time to pick my favourite colour and size. It was my first time ever to wear a kimono and putting it on was just another exciting festival altogether. It was then that I learnt the uniqueness of the Japanese traditional costume, kimono. I had never thought that one had to be assisted to dress up. It dawned to me that putting on a kimono is not that easy. You have to have some helping hand to make sure that it is worn precisely and the band is tied as tightly as it is supposed to be.

After dressing up in a magnificent cream-spotted kimono, I couldn't hold my excitement to get the best snapshots of my life. I joined other 'models' in taking pictures with them. The gentlemen appeared handsome as the ladies were the beauties of the evening, all of us delighted and beaming for getting an opportunity to wear a Japanese traditional attire.

We later proceeded to the Barbeque Stand where we had our suika (water melon) party together with other UMEX members. I must say that I enjoyed the Japanese food and drinks especially the rice balls covered with delicious sea vegetables.

Besides meeting new friends, I enjoyed sharing ideas with Umex members and had cordial conversations about our cultures. My thanks go to the UMEX officials and other members that made the party a success.

UMEX Summer Gorden Party Wannila Thongchan
2nd Year IDP Student from Laos
My family and I had a chance to participate in UMEX's summer garden party. We were informed by Takeda san that there will be a UMEX summer garden party on August 21st and we were invited. At that time, my family (my husband, Vong, and my son, Ennou) have already been with me in IUJ more than a moth, but they were still feel uncomfortable staying here because of its isolation. So, when we were invited to join the UMEX party, we were glad and expected for it. Because in the party we would have chance to meet and chat with some local Japanese members, to try wearing Japanese traditional clothe calls Yukata, and to enjoy some Japanese foods.

We got together at UMEX salon, SD3 first floor, in the evening of Saturday, August 21st, the day set for the party. There, we met not only local Japanese members, but also our friends from Cambodia, Africa, and Mongolia. It was really a meeting for cultural exchange. We firstly enjoyed very much with putting on Yukata and taking photos in SD3 lounge. After that we move to BBQ site, enjoyed foods, firework, and Yamato-machi's dance (Yamato Yoitoko).

I could see that my family and friends were really enjoyed the party. Thanks to UMEX who set up the happy event for us. It will be a good memory for us especially my son, because we took him a lot of photos with Yukata. More importantly, a very kind Japanese aunt whose name Banzai san gave him a Yukata!

Thanks to all good things that the UMEX and its members provided us and made our stay in IUJ more valuable and meaningful.

UMEX Summer Garden Party Unurjargal Demberel
2nd Year IDP Student from Mongolia
It is my pleasure to greet you all through the UMEX newsletter and share my memories from summer. One of the events that we had during hot and humid summer days was a garden party organized by UMEX on the 21st of August. It was a nice opportunity for us to get together with Japanese community and experience bits of Japanese specials such as wearing yukata, tasting sushi, Yairo suika, edamame and pickled nasu, dancing Yamatoyotoko dance and of course enjoying hanabi.

Thank you always to Takeda-san and all other UMEX members not only for the day, but for their kindness, friendship, interest and will to support us in understanding Japanese people and culture and making the stay in Japan rich of good memories. At last, for all students I wish all the best in your academic as well as personal life!

UMEX Uonuma Association for Multicultural Exchange
    UMEX Salon in International University of Japan   [Map (IUJ)]
    Mailbox: 35-7 Yahata, Minami Uonuma-shi Niigata 949-6609 Japan

TEL: +81-25-779-1520
FAX: +81-25-779-1520