Japan Journal-4

We also had the privilege of attending a very typical Japanese Tea Ceremony, in around october. As we were foreigners, and the only ones at that, it was an enthralling experience. The customs and rituals to be followed we intriguing, and Japan still amazes me with its mix of tradition and modernism.
You have to first enter this huge hall, where all the invitees are seated. You are handed a long sheet of paper on which your name is written ( in Katakana) . These sheets are taken later by the hostess, and you are called by name into a chamber. The chamber houses a priest, who presides over the tea ceremony. You are supposed to sit with your feet tucked in (not exposed), and are handed over a bowl of green tea(called macha) . Hold it and twist it three times clockwise before drinking it and while returning it back, twist it three times anti clock. You are supposed to murmur a phrase(which I do not remember). Then we were taken out into the larger hall, where we were handed over more macha. I had always heard and expressed a willingness to attend a Japanese tea ceremony. I did not come away dissappointed.

Tea Ceremony

In November, we witnessed culture of another kind. Now Japan, unknown to many, has a very large population of Brazilians. They stay mainly in the Hamamatsu and Toyohashi area, where no one is really surprised to chance upon a Brazilian. In late October, they celebrate their samba festival, by parading down the streets of Hamamatsu. Although the troupe size is small, and the dresses are way toned down from the Rio festival, the noise levels are deafening. The rest can be gauged from the picture below.


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