Friday, February 26, 2010

International Cultural Exchange Get-Together

長岡発→世界行!ふみだそう新しい世界 (From Nagaoka to the World! - Step Forward to the New World)
This is one of the last events related to international cultural exchange that I attended during my time in Nagaoka.
「第7回国際交流の集い」, or the "7th International Cultural Exchange Get-Together" was organised by Nagaoka City International Cultural Exchange Organisation last Friday. It was first held seven years ago, with the aim to make the event as a place for its members and the city people to meet, to foster better relationship and to feel closer to the world, as well as to have the people to understand better about the activities of the association.
The event was held at the Shirotori Hall of New Otani Hotel Nagaoka.
The ticket with the number for the lucky draw. A double digits of four, damn unlucky-lor haha!
On the night, there were more than 250 people from 17 different countries who attended the gathering. Most of them come from Asian countries, especially South East Asian countries. I was joined by the group of Japanese lecturers and students from my school, who are visiting Australia next month, as well as a several other Malaysian friends.
Our group was so big, that we occupied three tables in the banquet hall. At another far corner, we saw a group of Malaysians who were students and their families from Nagaoka University of Technology.
North wing of the hall.
South wing of the hall.
Food wing in the middle of the hall.
The event started with speeches by several big people, in which I didn't really pay attention to. I used up the time to do something else, i.e playing around with my camera instead haha! Well, to be honest, it was quite boring, and I saw most people in the hall weren't really interested to listen to them talking in front.
I am sure most of us were just waiting for the cue to attack the food haha!
One of the representatives from American Airlines who gives a speech about Nagaoka's sister city, Fort Worth in Texas.
Joann and Sayaka showing off some PDA (not that computer-related PDA, but this one) in front of so many people haha wtf!
Atiqah and Carine, two of my juniors.
The table on the left are the Chinese, while the ones on the right are Indonesians.
All this while, i thought when it comes to food, especially free-flow of food, nobody will beat Malaysians' kiasu-ness. But never did it cross my mind that Japanese can be as kiasu as Malaysians too. In fact, some of them were even worse than most Malaysians. Once they gave the cue to start eating, in just a matter of a couple of seconds, the food table was packed with humans.
It's like once they said, "Please help yourself", jeng jeng jeng, everyone just appeared in front of the food table haha!
session, and you know what's next...
Food attack haha!
That huge bowl is filled with soy-based broth for the soba.
The worse part is that, some golden-aged Japanese aunties just simply cut the queue and stuck their bodies in between us, filled their plates with as much food as they could, and then walked away, as if nothing happened! What the fish, right? They think they are old, weak, and frail, but that doesn't permit them to cut queue, just like that, right? I hope I won't be like them, fifty years from now haha!
While everyone were enjoying the food, they had performances from volunteers, mostly comprising of international students, who performed cultural shows from their respective countries.
A traditional dance from Romania, and the Romanian lady was later joined by several people from the floor.
Bangladesh dance; alone she might be, but she put up an energetic performance, turning left and right, going forward and gostan-ing haha.
A group of Indonesian performing a traditional dance from Sumatra, which is very similar to traditional Malay dance.
Vietnamese traditional dance, with hats; one of the best performances of the night.
A Fijian guy performed a song, entitled "Isa Isa".
An American country dance by a local dance group.
Everyone there seemed to enjoy the performances.
We were later asked to join them to dance as well haha!
Taken with the Vietnamese guy and his child.
Taken with Prof. Aoyagi and a lecturer, who is from Nagaoka University of Technology.
Miss Ogawa Yuka, from Nagaoka City International Affairs Division gave me an emergency call a few days earlier, because they didn't have Jalur Gemilang to be hung in the hall. So I brought mine there, although it was just a mini-sized one.
Next up was a lucky draw session. Remember the ticket number I got for the night? It was #244 and I was lamenting on the unlucky number I got. To be honest, I have never strike any prizes in any lucky draws for my whole life. Well, maybe there was, but I cannot remember any of them anymore haha! So, the draw started and halfway through the draw, they announced to us that the prize was sponsored by American Airlines. How nice if the prize is a return ticket to somewhere in the States, I thought.
They pulled out a number and read it out. Guess what? It was my unlucky number - #244!
Damn unbelievable-lor haha! I couldn't believe my luck, that I looked at my ticket a few more times to confirm it. The prize was a notebook leather bag, which fits my MacBook perfectly. Finally, my laptop has found its house lol! When I walked back to my table, the rest of them asked me to look inside the bag, just in case there might be a flight ticket in it. I opened it and I swear you're not gonna believe what I saw inside the bag!
OMG, I got a super huge surprise!
Posing with my prize from the lucky draw.

I saw nothing inside the bag. Haha, gotcha! What? You thought I saw a flight ticket inside it-arh?


~Live Life~ said...

Haha...the way you wrote this post..funny oso...=)

It made me reminisce bout those cultural activities I had back in US...quite fun!

And I think all Asians are kiasu...=P

Kae Vin said...

lol. Let's go US!

I thought you would do some traditional dance? no? XD

calvin said...

@ ~live life~:
haha, are you sure it's funny and not lame? xD

some people might find these kind of events and activities uninteresting, but i enjoy them a lot!

well, i don't think we can deny that fact =P

calvin said...

@ kae vin:
what traditional dance? a dance from sri lanka is it? haha xD

fufu said...

wow so many international student in nagaoka??? must be including the technical university also right? good =p i miss those big gathering ><

calvin said...

@ fufu:
yup, most of them are studying in the nearby nagaoka university of technology, and a few other smaller universities, i suppose.

big gathering with lots of good food is like a dreamland, isn't it? hehe xD