New friends share old traditions
U.S. Marine Corps | .
published: March 18, 2017
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Tsuzu Elementary School held a cultural exchange at Iwakuni City, Japan, March 11, 2017.
The event, which brought Americans and Japanese together, taught residents from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni about Japanese culture.
“It gives the Japanese a chance to practice their English, while Americans can learn Japanese.” said Mikie Watanabe, cultural adaptions specialist with Marine Corps Community Service Family Programs at MCAS Iwakuni. “It’s about having a good time, making friends and keeping an open mind.”
A tea ceremony was performed, teaching guests the tradition behind mixing herbs. Junior high students helped mix green tea to serve to guests after the ceremony, where servers walked the room and taught people how to properly drink tea.
Cooking instructors demonstrated how to cook miso soup, chicken and rice. The teachers talked about basic ingredients used in the recipes and stressed the different temperatures needed to cook each dish.
“Food is a universal language wherever you go,” said U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Larry Garavito, material control supply expeditor with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121. “Their way of life is learned through the food they eat and the traditions that are practiced during a meal.”
Garavito also said attending the cultural exchange and learning about the traditions in the tea ceremony helped expand his mind.
“People who are brought here get to experience something new,” said Watanabe. “Some people are uncomfortable when they move out here. We try to give them an opportunity to meet Japanese locals and learn something different.”