Today was Yuna’s entrance ceremony. It started at 10:30 so I could stay in bed until 9:00. At nine O’clock Okaa-san returned from the hair dresser who made her hair beautiful. Mama-chan helped Okaa-san with her Kimono, and that is rather complicated. Okaa-san just stood there and didn’t look happy because she was bored.
Yuna’s school is very nearby on walking distance. There were many people and all dressed very nice. The children were SO cute and SO small! First we went to Yuna’s class room. The class rooms are different from those in Holland. Some are normal and others are completely open, no door nor walls.
Many people where gathered around the 4 class room that were for the new children. Many people looked at me and were surprised to see a Gaijin (foreigner) in school! They even pointed at me and smiled at me.
Then we went to the gym to listen to speeches and songs sung by the children. The older children were there as well, amongst them was Miyu!
It started with a welcome speech and then the first year students came class after class. Everyone clapped their hands and the music group played very nice music that reminded me to the Efteling (A Dutch fairytale park)
Then the Japanese hymn was sung. Everybody sung except me. It sounded very sad and beautiful at the same time. I could hardly keep my eyes dry. Later that day I asked Okaa-san why it sounds so sad, and she explained that this is the Japanese hymn since the last world war and that Japanese peoply do not really like it.
The rest of the ceremony was rather boring. A lot of speeches that I didn’t understand. But they sung nice songs too and I liked that very much. (look at Yuna’s Entrance Ceremony song)
At the end pictures were taken from all parents and children with their class!
After lunch I was allowed to wear the Kimono. First I had to put my turn my hair in a knot what succeeded the third time. I brought nice hair clips with roses from home. They were the same color as the kimono!
It took about 40 minutes to get dressed and Okaa-san made pictures of me! Otou-san, Mama-chan and Okaa-san kept staring at me and said “Kirei”(pretty).
I also went to Sato-san to show myself. I didn’t know that there were about 20 children. There were four or five friends of Kichi and Yuki, Sato-san’s sons. Suddenly they started singing “BEAUTIFULLLLL”, very funny and cute. The others stared at me with their mouth open.
I hope to wear a yukata (a simplified Kimono) or a kimono at Sakura. Sakura is when the Japanese cherry blossoms bloom. In Sapporo that will be in may and is a very imported moment for Japanese people and is celebrated with visits to parks and temples.
About 4 O’clock Otou-san, Yuna and Miyu went to Asahikawa, a city two hours driving from Sapporo. They went there for a wedding ceremony and stay there until Sunday. Okaa-san has to work this weekend during the night so I can’t stay at home because AFS doesn’t allow students to stay home alone during the night. It was an easy guess where I would stay, at Sato-san’s place where everybody is always welcome.
In the evening I am home together with Okaa-san. It is so quiet and relaxed. We had dinner for 2 hours. The dinner was left over snacks . It is normal to have left over’s for breakfast.
Suddenly the doorbell rang and I saw on the camera that it was Tyler. It said “Ehh Tyler ??”. Okaa-san went to the door were Tyler stood with a plate with food in his hands. He tried to prepare something American, peanut spaghetti. It was no sauce but some kind of smashed peanuts. I asked Okaa-san what she thought about it and she said “Funny!”, next we started laughing because we wondered if they eat this in the USA or only at his place.
We spent the evening talking about the many differences and similarities between the Netherlands and Japan. I also explained Okaa-san that Yuna’s behavior is unacceptable in Holland. Okaa-san thinks she is very strict but I think she is very sweet and I explained she should be more serious when she is angry. Perhaps they obey then.
I like it very much that my host parents are so open and curious. I feel myself completely at home here and haven’t felt homesick at all!
Now it’s almost midnight but tomorrow I can sleep a little longer.
Okaa-san’s music taste is very funny. First she played classic music, than a kind of J-Rock (Japanese rock music) and now she plays a Japanese version of H.O.T., Japanese music of the nineties. It is very cozy!
Oh, by the way, I wish you a very happy Easter! Easter is not known here.
This post is also available in: Dutch