Cultural Exchange

TODAY WAS AWESOME!!! \(>w<)/ Ufufufu… Sorry for being a bit too hype. :p It’s just today I was having fun! So much fun! 😀

So, today, Ryu invite me to join one of the event from his scholarship giver (one of the big groups in Kyoto if I’m not mistaken :D). At first I was worried, if it’s okay if I join and such. Especially after I heard I might have to do some 5 minutes speech in front of the other members of the group as well as the other scholarship receiver (foreign students) about my country. Ryu said “Just do what you do on your graduation project presentation. You do Wayang right?”. Well.. Yeah I did.. But still, talking in front of the others is not my strong point. In fact, it’s my weakest point. |||Orz Oh, for those who don’t know, Wayang is Indonesian’s shadow puppet. 🙂 It’s quite famous just like ‘Indonesian Batik’ I think. 😀

So.. With no preparation, I ended up grabbing one of my ‘Indonesian Gift Stock’ (just like my parent says, I have to bring Indonesian stuffs everywhere just in case I need to give it to someone) which I remembers has a wayang drawn on it.. So, with an anxious feeling, we go to the event place. The name is Kagari Hi [かがり火]. It was located near Gion’s Yasaka Shrine. It really gives you an expensive old Japanese restaurant feeling. Okay, it makes me feel even more anxious. I really feel misplaced… |||Orz Somehow feels like Cinderella on a Castle Ball, a peasant coming to nobles event. Seriously.

And so, we entered the restaurant with anxious. Since we were asked (in a way) to use our traditional clothes, we (me n Ryu) ask if there’s a changing room. We decided to use Batik on this event (Batik skirt for me. Gosh, I even feel more like Cinderella ready for a waltz).. And when I finished changing, Ryu has already enter the room where the others wait. Okay.. Here we go..

1… 2… 3…

When the sliding door opens, I feel like all the eyes are looking at me. OH MY GOD! I really feel misplaced.. |||Orz I sit not far from Ryu and at the side of one of the scholarship receiver’s counselor. He was so nice and keep making everyone talk to one another and melting the tense feeling. I ended up laughing many times.

So the first event before the speech, we were brought to another room to have a tea ceremony. WAIT WHAT? TEA CEREMONY??? (OAO|||) Seriously it gives me even more tense feeling on my stomach.. |||Orz I’ve done a tea ceremony once before.. But it’s with my school, so failing is normal.. This time.. I’m with ‘noble looking’ people at my side which stares at me whenever I do any mistake.. (Well.. I won’t blame them.. The other foreign students are scholarship receiver, which they deserve to be here.. Me..? Just a peasant joining a noble event.. |||Orz) But thankfully, it ended up fine.

And you know what? The tea taste very good (although a bit watery for my matcha taste). :9 Matcha is always good! But this one is nice. Maybe because Kyoto’s matcha is the finest in Japan? 😀 I don’t know. The sweets also nice. Soybean flour filled Kastella. :9 Taste nice! And well, the one who do the tea ceremony is actually the owner of one of the biggest tea shop in Kyoto… |||Orz I’m not worthy…

So.. The tea ceremony is over.. We move to the first room to wait for the other group to have a tea ceremony as well. It’s been a very tense time waiting.. At least for me. SPEEECHHH!!! I didn’t prepare anything… |||Orz

And so, the destined time  has come… After the second group back from the tea ceremony, we move to another room which already prepared for dining. I was placed to sit next to Ryu and near another student from Vietnam named Gwen. And so the speech starts. HUWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! \(>A<)/

Thanks to the kindness of the event host, Ryu and I was permitted to speech together. So started with Ryu who discussed about Indonesian’s name. And I continued with my explanation about wayang. And of course I didn’t forget to show the wayang illustrated batik which I brought earlier. When we finished and return to our seat, suddenly the man who was the owner of tea shop earlier (the one who made us tea during tea ceremony. Apparently, he seats besides me :)), ask me to see the batik. Since I already given a nice tea, I thought why not give it to him as well? 😀

When I give it to him, he ask me many times, is it for real? Like he didn’t believe me. When I say it’s for real, he gave me his  name card and sweets for the tea ceremony earlier. 😀

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He even invite me to go to another tea events he held. YEEEIII~~<3!!! I was so happy! \(>w<)/ Well.. Looking at another person happy with my country’s culture is also making me happy as well. 😀

And so the speech is over, and it’s time for dinner! 😀 We got a loooottt of foods! 😀 Starting with sushi, sashimi, then tempura, tofu with sweet miso, rice and Kyoto pickles, and ended with strawberry, sakura mochi and a cup of Kyoto’s Houjicha. It was sooooo delicious! Oh! Don’t forget the boiled tofu which we also eat during the dinner set. 😀 IT WAS SO DELICIOUS! :9 I never know Kyoto’s cuisine can be this good.

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(I didn’t get to take a lot of picture since I’m afraid it would make me look impolite to the others. :/)

While eating, we also talk with a lot of people. I talk specially with the tea shop owner at my side (he teaches me about how to act proper in Japanese way.. And somehow he praise my way on using chopsticks.. (O///O) Seriously??? Praised by someone from Kyoto is something!). There are also a lot of people come near us to discuss about Indonesia. 😀 It was fun!

And you know what? I already got a very nice food, but the host still gave us a gift! 😀

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It’s a small pouch with a reversible sides! 😀 This one is the front side. 😀

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And this one is if you reverse it! 😉 So pretty and simple. 🙂

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I was very satisfied with the event. And even laugh so much. Too bad I didn’t get the time to take pictures. :/ But at the end of our way back, the tea shop owner keep on saying for me to come to his another tea ceremony events. I’ll definitely come if nothing’s on the way! Yeah! \(=w=)/

After parting with the others, me and Ryu decided to take a detour for a while and play some games at the game center. I ended up playing another crane game. 😀 I got this three:

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The jellyfish was successfully taken in one try. The St. Tail one takes 2-3 times to take it. The Minnie one? I didn’t even trying to take it. It feels when I tried to take the St. Tail doll. :p

It reminds me.. After my last post about Ryu’s crane game jinx over, I took few plushies with him looking. 😀 here it is~! 😉


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I guess that’s all for now. Gosh I’m so happy! I guess that’s all for now 😀 I hope everyone is happy as well! 🙂

Jya~ne! 😀


Sincerely, Bena nDR


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