Event 1


Nara JETNet 1st Event
International Food Festival

  On the 20th of January 2002, Nara JETNet held its first event in the city of Gojo. The event was an International Food Festival and saw the coming together of 49 of the 72 JETs in Nara Prefecture. Being the first event after the establishment of Nara JETNet, it was a good learning process for all involved.

  One difficulty faced was finding a budget for the event, but after negotiations with the Nara chapter of the United Nations they graciously provided enough to cover the cost of most ingredients. Some individual JETs were even kind enough to contribute from their own pockets or to pick up rare ingredients on their recent trips back home. Most difficult, perhaps, was finding a venue to host the event due to a lack of budget. However, with the help of staff at Gojo Central Community Hall, JETNet was able to gain full access to the cooking facilities, as well as a huge meeting room and display panels, all free of charge.
 
  Recruiting Japanese participants was also difficult due to the event date falling in the festive holiday season. However, thanks to the impressive efforts of JETs located in the Gojo area who worked on recruiting from the Gojo community, an amazing 120 Japanese participants gathered on the day.

  JET participants were divided into nine nationality groups: New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica, United Kingdom, Mexico, America, Italy, France, and Canada. Each group elected a leader to prepare country introductions and national dish recipes.

  Two JETs each from 5 groups cooked national dishes with 4*5 Japanese participants in the morning, while the rest of the JETs and Japanese participants shared knowledge of their countries in the large meeting room. CIRs took turns interpreting country introductions until the dishes were done and brought up to the big meeting room. The crowds surged as the various foods, ranging from pasta, tacos, and fish stew to various cakes and biscuits, were brought up to the main hall. Another cooking session was then held in the kitchen while the rest of the participants enjoyed the impressive performance by Nara's very own band, "Ben's and Roses". In total, 40 of the Japanese participants tried their hand a cooking foods from the various countries lead by 10 of the JET participants.

  The second round of sampling was again very much enjoyed by everyone, as well as the great Celtic dance led by the UK group and the CIRs. This marked the finale of the event.

  Japanese participants were asked for feedback in order to help improve upcoming events and the feedback received was very encouraging, asking JETNet to host events like this more often. Many people commented that the JETNet event motivated them to learn more about the world outside Japan. A huge achievement and an amazing success for Nara JETNet’s first event!


 

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