Sunday, December 19, 2010

Universal Festival 2010

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A very simple poster of the University Festival, held at the Keyaki Hall.

One of the main events organised by the Centre of International Research and Study in Chiba University (千葉大学国際教育センター) is the biannual Universal Festival, an event where international students introduce their country to everyone, especially to the Japanese. This festival was first introduced in 1995 as the centre's main event of the year, with the cooperation of the international students and Chiba University International Student Group (CISG) (千葉大学国際学生会).

For the second edition of this year's festival, the international students from Nepal and Vietnam were the two countries that gave a presentation about their countries' culture, people, food, festival, dances, places of interests and many more. Besides that, there was also a special traditional dance performance by a South Korean student.

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The pamphlet of the event.

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The number of international students in Chiba University from each continent.

Before the presentation of each country started, there was a special presentation by CISG about how international students think about Japan. There were slides shows and videos taken while they interviewed the international students. Among the questions asked were their image on Japan before coming to Japan, how those images changed when they reached Japan, and problems they faced while living in Japan. This is the part where I feel was one of the most interesting part throughout the event.

There was this Thai girl, who just came to Japan recently and one of her wish is for the Japanese to talk slower to her because she couldn't catch them. They way she said that with her sympathetic facial expression was just too funny haha! But the pick of the lot is a couple of Chinese boys, whom one of them gave a really "honest" answer when was asked if he faces any problems while in Japan.

"Yes, I'm facing a problem. A big, big problem. I still don't have a girlfriend. I came to Japan two years already, but still couldn't get a girlfriend. The reason? I don't know myself" haha!

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The Koreans, whom one of them lamented that the Japanese are sometimes too polite lol!

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The rest of the international students who participated in the interview. Guess which one is the girlfriend-less guy haha!

Next was a presentation by Pralhad Uprety from Kathmandu, Nepal. He was a university lecturer before coming to Japan to do his PhD in Engineering, and his research is about earthquake study.

Mention Nepal and I bet the most we know about the country will probably only be Mount Everest. But the country is more than just Mount Everest. Although the country is one-third as big as Malaysia or Japan, the population is just approximately 30,000 people. I am not gonna give every details about the country, because you can always refer to Wikipedia.

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The Nepalese flag has a unique shape, unlike the usual rectangle-shape.

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Various geographical features of the country.

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Two Nepalese who holds the Guinness World Records; the world's smallest person and the world's oldest person to climb Mount Everest.

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The Nepalese food has influences from India and China.

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Nepal is where the Lord Buddha was born.

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A traditional dance from Nepal. This girl is actually the wife of Pralhad.

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I find that the music and movements are very similar to Indian dance haha!

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A special performance by a Korean student, who performed a traditional dance called sanmo.

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Performers wear a hat with long ribbon attached to them, where they can spin and flip in intricate patterns by moving their heads.

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He got one audience to join him on the stage.

The final presentation was by the Vietnamese students. There were a couple of Vietnamese students during my kosen years and every time I hear them speak their language, I just feel that they are speaking Thai. "Keng keng top tap, kop kap kap kap"> Something like that haha! If there is any Vietnamese who are reading this, please don't get offended, alright? It was just meant as a joke. I have asked them before and apparently, the two languages are totally different. Yet, to us who don't understand the language at all, I am sure we cannot tell the differences.

It is something like my Mom, who often tell me she cannot differentiate Korean and Japanese, which we all know are completely two different languages!

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The country is something like Chile, narrow and long.

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One of the seven World Heritage Sites in Vietnam - Halong Bay.

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Tết is the Vietnamese New Year, in which the culture is very much influced by the Chinese culture.

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The most important food is bánh chưng, made of glutinous rice, mung bean, pork and other ingredients.

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A tradition which has been passed down for thousands of years - the famous and unique water puppet.

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Two food that best represent Vietnam - Phở, a rice noodle soup and gỏi cuốn, summer roll consisting of pork, shrimp and herbs wrapped in rice paper.

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The food differs according to regions - in the northern region, the food are generally spicy and salty, while most food from the southern region are sweet.

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A traditional dance where dancers hops through the bamboo sticks.

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 I think this dance is quite familiar to us. Anyone have any idea what is it called in Malaysia? (edited: thanks to "loyal reader", I got to know that this dance is called the Magunapit dance, popular among the Murut in Sabah.)

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The performance was joined by several Japanese students as well.

Right after the presentation session, it was a culture-exchange party.

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The table offering Vietnamese food was the most crowded with people haha!

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Fried summer roll, I think. It is eaten with some sweet and sour sauce. Crispy outside, soft and juicy inside; very nice!

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Sweet corn with dried prawns. Not bad as the sweetness from the juicy corn combines well with the salty dried prawns.

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Futomaki-matsuri-zushi (太巻き祭り寿司), the regional cuisine that represent Chiba prefecture. Even simple food like rice are made into such cute and attractive shapes of hibiscus and Anpanman.

While I was looking at those sushi on the table, one old lady who was standing there (she was one of the volunteers who made those sushi) asked me, "Yes boy, interested to learn how to make them?" haha!

6 comments:

loyal reader said...

nice photos!!:DD haha! and i think the dance is called magunatip dance as i have seen the Kadazans/Muruts (?) performing it before!:DD are they the same?:D

calvin said...

@ loyal reader:
yup, you are right! the bamboo dance is called the magunapit, and popular among the murut in sabah. thanks for the info :D

Anonymous said...

nice entry muahaha :D..
wow nice sia the murut come your university teach them how to dance bamboo stick..
btw are the food there for free or we have to pay them?

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
no, no. you got the wrong idea already. the dance is a traditional dance from vietnam and was performed by the vietnamese students during the festival. it is just that i thought the dance is very similar to the bamboo dance by the murut in sabah ;)

yes, the food was free =D

Anonymous said...

walao if free then tapau bnyk2 lor bring back home muahaha :D...
why didint u hop in and join those people dance le? xD

calvin said...

@ anonymous:
the food was so laku that i didn't even get a second round. how to tapao home, if like that? >.<

my legs are way too long; god knows what will happen if an elephant fall on the stage. a super huge earthquake will happen haha! xD