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Japanese Cultural Afternoon at EC Malta

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The afternoon began with a presentation from one of the students who introduced us to Tokushima, a small island off mainland Japan, which is about 13 times bigger than Malta! He then went on to explain the tea ceremony to us, known as Sado, which is the activity of serving tea to guests following rigid rules. It was originally started 1300 years ago, but developed further about 500 years ago. Green tea (Macha) is served during the ceremony which has its foundations in the philosophy and religion of Zen/Buddhism, and is also considered to be a form of art as it is usually performed in special tea rooms. The tea ceremony is an opportunity to thank guests and enjoy their company and is based on the Japanese culture of highly respecting each other and one’s guests. A tea ceremony was held in the Student Lounge by the Tokushima Handicraft Association and students had the opportunity to taste Japanese tea from the special tea bowls. We were then introduced to origami which translates into /ori/ – folding and /gami/ – paper, because it is the art of folding paper into intricate shapes. It is seen as a game, a form of art and also a spiritual activity that includes praying for souls, or for a patient’s speedy recovery. Everyone was given their own piece of coloured paper and a demonstration of how to make a crane, as a souvenir of the day. The afternoon ended with a mouth-watering array of sushi and soy sauce prepared by the students that were enjoyed by all.

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