Sunday, February 22, 2009

Farewell Party 2009

Short note: Furuza: dah tgk cite constantine? best lk cite ni
Calvin: nope. kat maner? dah tengok citer ni? pasal kucing yg malas nak diet. best giler.
Furuza: mintak dari kawan yg download movie ni. cite aper tu? melayu?
Calvin: macam macam bahasa ader. asalnyer jipang.
Furuza: tajuk?
Calvin: doraemon. doraemon and friends.
Furuza: hahhahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. lawakkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk!


Oh hi, I'm the mascot of the day =)
The international students in Nagaoka College of Technology can consider ourselves lucky because there isn't lack of events organised for us throughout the year. When we just came to the college during our 3rd Year, there were a few welcoming parties for us. Similar events will be held at the end of the year, this time to bid farewell to the fifth graders who will be graduating. It wasn't my turn this time; mine will come in one year's time.
Roughly a couple of weeks ago, there was this annual mochi-pounding-cum-farewell-party for the seniors in the 5th Year, which was held at the Suyoshi Community Center, just a few stones' throw away from our college. It started off with each of us taking turns to pound the hot steamed glutinous rice into mochi. I have made a rather detailed description of mochi in this entry last year, in which I do not see the need for me to make it redundant this time. Most of us looked reluctant to go out and help out on the mochi pounding; everybody was practically pointing fingers to each other.
Transfering the steamed glutinous rice into the wooden mortar.
Roby, our Indonesian senior helping out on the mochi pounding.

In the end, it was one of the retired lecturers who formerly taught in our college, Yamaguchi sensei who stepped out and started the pounding. I guess he must have been waiting to get the chance all day, because once he got a grip on the wooden mallet, he swung it so high that it hit the green emergency sign box hanging from the ceiling. Lucky thing that sign box didn't drop down.
After that, each of us took turns to pound the steamed glutinous rice.
It certainly required patience and an equally amount of energy because we needed to pound the rice until they turned into sticky mochi. There were two rounds this time and to save time, a machine was used to make the process faster. This machine will vibrate continuously in a circular motion and somehow, the vibration turned the steamed rice almost into mochi, in which the rest of the process will be continued using the mortar and wooden mallet.

Making full-use of technology.

While waiting for the mochi to be done, the rest took pictures with each other.

The seniors posing with their Japanese mates.
The girls took turns baby-sitting the mascot of the day.

Just like the previous year, a group of musicians was invited to perform a few Japanese traditional dances during this event. Tada-san, who has been working in the office of our dormitory for some time already, was among the group members who performed on that day. All but one of the group members are retirees and according to one of the group member, they practice around three times every week.


Introduction of each group members.
Performing a dance with interesting hats.
More like farmers dancing around in colourful suits.
This uncle was reciting a poem while holding a huge saw.
Another dance which used the same hat as the previous dance.

He was in a real mood to sing on that day.
Tada-san was giving her best too.

The singing was actually funny, and most of us were trying hard not to laugh because we were sure that was gonna offend them. Imagine your old ah poh singing and you should get the idea how that would sound like. But they took the effort to perform something for us, and I guess it would be disrespectful to just ignore and make fun of their performances.
On another hand, I honestly find that the performances weren't that bad and boring.

Fifth Year seniors with the musician group members.
Everyone wanna have a group shot too.

Then the main event of the day followed up.

The ladies and girls helped out on preparing the mocha into small pieces and the guys distributed them on the tables.
All were waiting to attack the food on the table.
Mochi with three kinds of topping (red bean, walnut, and groundnuts), soup and oranges.

Yamaguchi sensei gave a short speech and as usual, some advices to the leaving seniors. He also detailed about his trips to Malaysia some time ago while showing us a few of the pictures taken there. He shared a personal experience of his, on how he was telling his Japanese friends about his trip to Malaysia, and his friends asked him in return whether they were any roads in Malaysian back then. He showed them the pictures as prove and his friends were quite shocked when they saw the skyscrapers and high-rise building in Kuala Lumpur.

That was nearly twenty years ago.
Sadly, this hasn't changed until today because there are still Japanese who will ask us whether it snows in Malaysia, or whether we get to feel earthquakes on regular basis. I still consider that alright, because those Japanese most probably failed their Geography. But not when they ask us if we still live on trees.

Guess where this picture was taken. No prize for correct guess though.

The seniors this year get something special because the group photo taken earlier was printed out and framed, and it was wrapped as a simple gift from the Japanese juniors.

Zamih, receiving his gift from the representative of the Chikyu Lab.
The 5th Year seniors posing with their gifts.

Tada-san got hers as well.


And as usual, it was casual picture-taking session with the leaving seniors.

Clockwise from left: Yan Kuang, me, Roby (Indonesia), Idris, Ikbar, Dat (Vietnam), Yamamoto and Ngoc Chuyen (Vietnam).
Tada-san with the seniors.

While we were tidying up the place after the event ended, I had a three-cornered race with my Indonesian senior, Roby and my Vietnamese junior, Dat to see who would finish folding the map first. There is only one simple rule, that is the mat has to be folded neatly and not loose. The prize for the winner?
No prize actually lol.

I was leading at first.


But Dat cheated; he stood up and just kicked the map instead of rolling it nicely and won the race =.=

Finally, a group shot of the international students, with the Japanese lecturers and students.

Farewell Party 2009 at Suyoshi Community Center - February 11, 2009.

This is just the first of the many farewell parties. So, stay tuned.


Kae Vin said...

what does farewell has to do with mochi? =_=

=chuan guan= said...

wow v happening

calvin said...

@ specialhuman:
well, it's to celebrate the graduating seniors. here is something i made up myself - mochi is sticky; so, by pounding mochi during this farewell party, we hope that our relationship with our seniors will not stop here and stay intact like how difficult it is to separate the sticky mochi, even though they are leaving soon =)

calvin said...

@ =chuan guan=:
yeah, it was =)

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