Last Sunday, I went to a festival called “Japan Day” with some students taking a Japanese class and SGS students. It was held in Christchurch, located on the east coast of New Zealand ‘s South Island. It was a very prosperous outdoor event with a lot of stalls selling delicious Japanese food. They sold a wide range of Japanese food like sushi, karaage, Japanese snack, and they even sold yukari-flavored rice balls.
Interestingly, a group composed of some Japanese and Kiwi girls were dancing to the music of a Japanese anime, and their dance moves were well choreographed. I was surprised that Japanese anime is so popular among foreign people.
Darfield High School students and I did calligraphy performance while dancing. It was a little embarrassing for me because the song that we danced to was “Makkanaaki,” which is absolutely meant for kids. But the purpose of this performance was to spread the culture of Japan and we could accomplish it, so it is alright.
Not only Kiwi and other Asian people were working there. I found it interesting to see various international groups cooperating for the success of the festival.
Time marches on, and it’s March already.
It’s getting cooler these days. You know, New Zealand is located in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s beginning to look more like fall. On Monday morning, we had rain, and we were exposed to freezing wind. It’s been really cold, so my host brother got sick. He got better quickly, and he’s looking forward to winter because he’s really fond of skiing. I like the cold weather, so I’m pleased, too.
I had some activities this week.
On Tuesday, I went to Christchurch and participated in the Selwyn athletics championship. The athletic field is quite new, so I felt comfortable while running on the ground. That night, I took a lesson about Maori. The teacher is Maori. It was really interesting, but unfortunately, it’s for adults, so I can’t take it anymore. No need to worry. I’ll do much more things. I also ate a rare vegetable, called Rhubarb . Mom cooked snacks after dinner, and I had rhubarb jam. It tasted sour, but it went well with pie.
On Saturday, I went to Christchurch with Keigo & his host parents for sightseeing. We walked around the city. First, we walked around Hagley Park. I was amazed by the size. Surprisingly, it’s the third largest park in the world. I would definitely go for a jog there every day if I could. Then, we visited Canterbury Museum. That was really interesting. There’re so many kinds of exhibitions such as Maori culture, Antarctica, Egypt and Asia…etc. I saw many things from all over the world from different eras. I’ll attach a picture of a samurai mannequin. I was so focused on looking at the exhibitions that I forgot to take more photos. I’ll keep them in my memory.
After lunch, we got on the gondola. We could see fantastic views from the summit of the mountain. I absolutely took photos of that. I’ll attach the best one.
We did many other remarkable things, but it’ll take too long to write them all down, so I’ll stop here, sorry…
Today, I went to Christchurch again, but it was on school trip. The trip was for international students and some students who are taking a Japanese class. Now you know the purpose of the trip. Yes, today’s Japan Day!!! Japanese festivals are held around New Zealand today, and we enjoyed “Canterbury Japan Day”. It was so crowded with people that we couldn’t even move. I often heard Japanese in the venue, so it was a little odd to me. Of course, I ate too much. Many kinds of Japanese food came into my sight, so I had no choice. It was so fun, and it’ll be a good memory of this short-term overseas trip.
I found and experienced many other interesting things this week.
I’ll write them down.
1. ESOL class
This week, the theme of the class was “adjectives”. We imagined a noun and describe it with many different adjectives, then put them in correct order. For instance, an adjective about its shape should come after an adjective about its color…etc. It’s confusing but it was new to me. This will lead to building my vocabulary, and it will lead to the improvement of my writing. I want to learn to write English sentences with detailed descriptions.
2. Science class
We conducted an experiment this week. We’re learning about chemical equations, so we added some grains of calcium carbonate into hydrochloric acid. The contents were really easy and a little bit boring, but I found it fun. Students can select what to do in each group’s experiment. So we had to think by ourselves. I wrote about the same kind of things last week ,right?
3. PE class
Perhaps I’m a good high jumper. We’re doing athletics in the class, and we can choose our own events. I tried high jump for the first time in a while. And I did it!!! I jumped higher than any of the other participants. I’m looking forward to my grade. I hope to be a good jumper.
4. Drama class
We took a video of our performance. I got nervous,and blew some lines. I was disappointed in myself, but the teacher and some friends of mine said to me “good, Ryo.” or “Well done.” I thank them for their kindness.
5. Math class
I used a calculator throughout the class. In Japan, using them is usually cheating. However, it’s needed and recommended here because we can’t solve the problems from the textbook & worksheet. It’s completely different from Japan. But I think the teaching method of New Zealand is better because it will be more useful in the future. I’ll explain it with an example of cosine. In Japan, we memorize the value of cos30,45,60…etc. So we can’t use the other values e.g. cos29,44,59…etc. But we rarely see an angle of exactly 30 degrees. That is to say it’s not useful for our daily lives. What is more, example questions from the textbook here is more closely related to our daily lives, so it’s a little fun to read.
Japanese math education is maybe too affected by the entrance exams of university.
Thus, the purpose of learning math is different, I think. I came to want to enjoy math now. I won’t be able to put up with it without any fun.
6.1 I feel the sky is really vast. Since I came here, I’ve been feeling that it’s vaster than Japan. And I found the answer to this. Yes, there are no high buildings around here. In Japan, especially in Tokyo, there’re so many high buildings and because of air pollution ,we can’t get a clear view of the sky. That’s why! I realized this while relaxing in the car.
6.2 I think making eye contact makes us easier to understand what others are saying. Certainly we have to concentrate on listening, but it’s not enough, I think. Maybe we can feel something about each other by communication through the eyes. It sounds fantastic and mysterious.