Sun Rise Letters

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Christmas decorations at futuristic mall downtown
Beautiful decorations in a local park
More futuristic decorations
Me with no hair

Beautiful Japanese Red Maple

OK, so my plan of updating every week has obviously not worked out.
Things that have happened in the last month:
A) Went back to Dazaifu and saw the sumo wrestlers practicing. They do this one drill where one of the huge guys stands still, and the other one pushes him (literally) across the ring. It was very intense.
B) Went to a Japanese Nursery school. It was the most intensely cute experience of my life. They seperated us into groups, and our group was the five year olds. They made flags of our countries, and said hello in all of our languages. Then they asked us in Japanese what our favorite things were. A kid asked me what my favorite fish was. I didn't really know how to respond to that.. :0) But then we got to see them do their Christmas pagent. The five year old girls did this really complicated dance that was quite amazing. Then after the Nursery school, we went to a Japanese high school with a very strong English program. We talked with Japanese students, and saw them give presentations (including an inspiring rendition of a Japanese baseball fight song).
C) Took many pictures of Japanese Christmas decorations. The great thing about Japanese Christmas is how similar and how strange it is at the same time. You still have Santa Clause, Christmas lights, stockings, snow, and presents. However, in Japan, you are supposed to have a date for Christmas, and its not really a family thing. The store nearby sells giant pre made stalkings for about 10 dollars with pokemon and hello kitty on them, cookies that are built upward covered with chocolate that are supposed to look like Christmas trees but really just look...wrong, giant lit up bunnies, and, the list goes on. Being in Japan for Christmas is going to be weird, but since it doesn't really feel like Christmas, I think I'll be OK.
D) Had more adjusting issues. Its strange how in study abroad programs, within the community, a kind of strange third culture is formed. Sometimes, this culture can get out of hand. Suffice it to say, there is a lot of sexism going on, and a lot of girls have noticed it. It makes me sad, because it sets up an antagonism between the genders that is so middle school.
E) Got closer with some of the wonderful people here.