One of the great joys of coming to the UK to study English is the chance to discover new cultures – not only British culture but also the different cultures of your classmates.
This month our students had a unique opportunity to experience Japanese culture first-hand. Our group of students from Japan led a cultural afternoon with fun, practical activities such as origami (paper folding), calligraphy (the art of beautiful writing) and various games.
Learning Calligraphy and Origami
Our calligraphy lesson began with a demonstration by one of our students and ended with us all being able to write our names (with a little help!) in Japanese characters. We then tried our hand at origami. Firstly, we made a ninja star, or ‘shuriken’. These were originally made of metal and used as throwing weapons. Our second origami task was to make a ‘kabuto’, or samurai helmet. This made for some nice photos as we all put on or new paper hats!
Primary School Visit
The event also had a special purpose. Our group from Japan were due to visit English primary schools to introduce Japanese culture to local children, so this was a chance for them to practise their presentation. Our Japanese group had just spent the week with two of our teachers to prepare for this. This involved working on their script and developing their presentation skills through language training and practical tasks.
The Japanese cultural afternoon was a thoroughly enjoyable learning experience for all involved… including us!
If you want to try some of the activities, here are some useful links.
Make an origami shuriken
Make an origami samurai helmet