Nara JETNet 9th Event
International Food Festival
On February 29, 2004, Nara JETNet held its ninth international event, the third annual International Food Festival, at Sakurai Mahoroba Center. The event involved a total of 134 Japanese participants of various ages and backgrounds. 53 JETs introduced recipes and customs about food in ten different countries as well as cooking food from their countries with the participants.
After adding finishing touches to their country displays, JETs welcomed the participants at 12.15pm. At 1.00pm, the event officially began with greetings and a rundown of the day's activities. The first five cooking groups then headed off to the kitchen.
While the USA, UK, France, Thailand, and Mexico groups were preparing the first round of food, the rest of the participants enjoyed looking at the various booths and hearing presentations about food around the world. The Italy, India, New Zealand, France, and Mexico groups each briefly talked about food in their countries. The Mexico Group performed "The Ketchup Dance," an interactive dance, while the Italy group quizzed everyone on various types of pasta.
When the five groups in the kitchen brought our their dishes, everyone was ready to eat. There were entrees such as Thai green curry, Mexican salsa, and French salad, as well as deserts like British scones and American funnel cake. After the first taste-test, the second wave of groups went to the kitchen as JETNet members interviewed some participants, asking them how they were enjoying the event and what country's food they enjoyed the most. The final five country introductions (Canada, Australia, Thailand, England, and America) were very informative. The American group's Appalachian clogging was breathtaking, while Canada's True-False quiz taught everyone something new.
One hour later, the last cooking groups returned and began serving their food. Pasta, tandoori chicken, curry, apple-cinnamon pancakes, pavlova, tacos, and more ? the participants left Sakurai with full stomachs and warm hearts. Participant surveys revealed that the event was quite successful. 75% of those surveyed gave the event the highest possible score of 5, and responses showed that the most educational part of the event was getting to interact with the JETs. One person commented that "getting to talk one-on-one with youth from various countries made me realize that our world is very warm and friendly."
The JETNet team would like to thank everyone who participated for making this event a success!