Monday, October 27, 2014

Country Fair 2014

The Country Fair
By Ryota Kojima

On Friday, October 24, 2014, the Center for International Education at Loyola University New Orleans sponsored a Country Fair on the Peace Quad. In this fair, many international students prepared a table to show other students their countries’ culture, food and music.

Students enjoying the Country Fair
I also participated in this fair with Mr. Hikaru Yokoyama and Ms. Azusa Kurosawa, representing Japan.

Mr. Hikaru Yokoyama, Mr. Ryota Kojima, and Ms. Azusa Kurosawa, who organized the Japanese table at the Country Fair
Hikaru, Azusa, and I made Japanese traditional noodles called SOBA. But we forgot the fact that noodles become soggy as time goes by. Therefore, when our Soba was eaten at the Country Fair, it had become very soggy. We wanted our fellow students to eat better soba. In spite of that, many students came to our table and said to us, “This is really good.” I think I can say that many students enjoyed our Japanese table as well as other countries’ tables. Also, some U.S. American students who are interested in studying in Japan helped us to cook soba and set the table. We really appreciated all their help.

I ate many countries’ food in the fair and that made me want to go to those countries to eat the real food there. In particular, the croissants served at the French table were very good. I suppose that those were better than the croissants that I ate in Paris last year. Also, many countries arranged a picture display at their tables to show various aspects of their country and culture. It was fun for me to see the pictures of festivals of every country. Those pictures made me think of participating in those festivals someday. Everyone who took part in the Country Fair seemed to enjoy learning about cultures with which they had not been very familiar.

At the end of the fair, samba dancers wearing showy costumes danced on a stage. That was the first time for me to see samba, and I was very surprised how swiftly they could move their bodies when they were dancing. Many students were facsinated by samba. I want to go to Brazil to see the real samba carnival.

Samba dancers at the Country Fair

By having participated in the Country Fair, I felt several things. First of all, many more people are interested in Japan than I thought. When we were serving Soba, some students came to us and said that they had been to Japan or that they would go there. Also, a U.S. American student who came to our Japanese table had Kendama, a traditional Japanese toy with a wooden handle, three shallow dishes, and a pointed tip that the player uses to catch a wooden ball. This student showed me that he could play Kendama very well. I was glad about it. This made me want to tell others about Japan more.

Secondly, all the international students take pride in their countries. For example, when I visited the Spanish table, a student told me that she had tried hard to make nice tortyilla because she loved Spain and wanted other students to like her country. Also, Brazilian students wore the unifrom of their national soccer team. This is because they love Brazil. I think this is a very good thing. I have not been proud of being Japanese very much, but I thought I should know Japan more and tell international students with confidence that Japan is a good country as well as their countries.

All the students who participated in the Country Fair seemed to enjoy themselves talking with international students, eating food they had not tasted before, seeing pictures of various countries, and watching samba. It was wonderful that people from different countries and cultures had a good time together, laughing.

* * *

Mr. Ryota Kojima of Japan
Mr. Ryota Kojima is an exchange student from Sophia University, a Jesuit university in Japan, where he is majoring in international law. This semester, as an exchange student at Loyola University New Orleans. Ryota is in the Pilot Program of the Loyola Intensive English Program, where he takes two credit-bearing courses in English skills as well as two courses in other fields at Loyola,

Thank you, Ryota, for giving us this overview of the Country Fair!

No comments:

Post a Comment