Earlier this month, my school had one of it's two biggest festivals, the bunkasai or cultural festival. (the other big festival is sports day). I was not only looking forward to this because it landed on a weekday, meaning that I wouldn't have any classes, but also because my school's bunkasai would definitely be unique due to the agricultural aspect of my high school. This meant that the students made food products from our own cows, chickens, and pigs; made these products using skills they had learned in their cooking courses; and were showed off vegetables and plants that they had grown themselves. Also, the girls from home economics had a fashion show with outfits they had made themselves. The clothes looked great but the show itself was hilarious!!
Adding to the fun, my students, who are usually semi-comatose in class, were excited and talkative. My bf was allowed to come so they were all curious about him and gushing at us, making hearts with their hands and saying "ラブラブ!" (love love!) which is something you would basically say to any cute couple...but especially us. ~.~ Another ALT friend came as well, so we all had a good time walking around being appreciated for merely being the only foreigners there and being sucked in by the students to buy from their stall. (er, wait, that was just me..)
Everything was delicious. I know this because like I said, the students pulled me into every stall to buy from them. I ate a version of katsudon, oreo chessecake, cream pan, salmon nabe, karaage, consume french fries, caramel popcorn, and milk. The milk was the only thing that I didn't like because it tasted like strawberry. That doesn't sound bad but when you take a huge gulp anticipating milky goodness, it can be a little off-putting. I also took home mochi, strawberry jam, and soba noodles.
But I wasn't pigging out the whole time - there were activities going on as well. The school's brass band which is lead by my supervisor JTE, Taniguchi-san, played nice renditions of Pachalbel and AKB 48. The school had also hired two performers to come and do their act for the spectators which, even without being able to understand all the Japanese, the slapstick comedy and juggling fire batons was fun to watch. Easily entertained as I am, I also quite enjoyed a contest to collect various stamps from posts set up around the school. The first 10, then 25, then 100, etc., people to get all the stamps got a prize of varying scale. The biggest prize was one of the house plants that I had bought anyways, so I was in no rush. In fact, I didn't need a prize at all, just the satisfaction of collecting all of the stamps was enough
I should mention that this was the last day out of three for the bunkasai. The first day was just an opening ceremony (something that is done for nearly every occasion in Japan) and the second day was conducted entirely in the gymnasium. In the gym, each class sang songs and presented projects they had been working on all year. True to form, on the last day there was a closing ceremony as well.
Little things like this have made me appreciate my placement in this quiet little town. These are definitely unique experiences that I might now have had, had I been placed in a bigger city like I wanted. I have to make the most of it while I'm here!
Points for Tamba and Hikami High School!
|Hikami High School|
|Our student body|
|The Fashion show|
|The Fashion Show with some teachers who volunteered|
|Their personal reports on their projects|
|Home made oreo cheesecake|
|Class 2-2, selling home made cream pan|
|Third year girls selling pins they had made for Tohoku Relief|
|Candy apples or as they like to say, ringoame リンゴあめ|
|Fresh pork meat..Mmmmm|
|The bunkasai took place in every part of the school|
|Student artwork on display|
|Some of my second year boys selling their mochi on the go|
|First year students have chado 茶道 as an elective|
|The home made jam and milk|
|The entertainers doing their fire juggling act|
|Chi-tan! the Tamba city mascot. This was the project of one class who made him out of painted pet bottles.|
|All of the stuff I bought from different booths. |
I couldn't say no to my students ><