Oni wa sato, Fuku wa uchi!

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Culture day is finally here! Today we have our first international day! We celebrated Japanese Setsubun a day early because it is actually on February 3rd. Rika (J’s mom) and Karin ( T’s mom) read a story about Setsubun for us. Did you know that oni doesn’t like things that smell? It doesn’t like fish, so we should prepare sardine’s head on a stick to warn it off and we should have holly leaves so it will sting the Oni’s eyes. But what it hates most are BEANS! That’s why we say “Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi!” when we throw the beans at them. It means “Oni out, good luck in!” Another thing for good luck is to eat the beans. You should eat one bean for each birthday but if you’re very old then you can mix the beans with tea leaves and drink it as a tea. After doing all this the oni will leave and the next day (Risyun) the warm spring weather will come and the harsh cold winter will leave. After the story we reacted the Setsubun scene. Half of out friends put on the oni masks that we made and the other half threw “beans” or balls while chanting “Oni wa sato, Fuku wa uchi!”. Then we switched and become the oni. After we got rid of the oni once and for all Naoko (T’s mom) told us something else about Setsubun. Did you know that the Setsubun is based on the lunar calendar and we should eat ehomaki (A very big and long maki roll) facing a certain direction. The direction is based on which Chinese Zodiac sign it is this year. This year we need to face south, south east because it’s the year of the dog. While eating the ehomaki we shouldn’t cut it or talk until we finished. If we cut it, it means we are cutting happiness and good relationships. After learning about the ehomaki the moms had all the ingredients for us so we can make our own. We used carrot, crab meat, avocado, kombu (kelp), kampyo (dried shaving of a calabash), cucumber and eggs. We put the nori down , added rice on top and whatever topping we wanted. Then we tried to roll it all together. When we were all finished we all faced south, south east, towards the mirrors in our classroom, and ate our ehomaki. Everyone was quiet for the entire time! We are going to be very blessed and happy this year! We always love it when we have visitors come, can’t wait for the next culture day!

After the festivities was over Hisami challenged our brain. We played a memory game where an elephant went shopping and we added an item to his shopping list one by one.  The trick was the cards were turned upside down so we couldn't see what he bought previously. He had a very long shopping list and was hard at the end but we all helped each other and were able to remember everything.

Since it was snowing outside today Kai showed us how to play a “laser” game so we can move around. We had to stay on the brown carpet and there was a “laser” or bamboo stick that pass across the carpet. We had to decide if we want to jump over it or go under it without touching the laser. If we touch the laser then we have to sit out until the next round. When more of our friends are eliminated, the laser gets faster and faster. We had to think fast as to jump or to duck. We definitely worked up a sweat!

What a great way to end a wonderful week. We’re glad the weather didn’t affect us from coming to school or we would of missed out on all the activities. Hope you day was as awesome as ours. Have a great weekend and see you next week!

XOXO,

Flowers Class Children

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Ohana International School