Event 11

Nara JETNet 11th Event
What is Christmas?

  On November 27, 2004, Nara JETNet held its eleventh international event, "What is Christmas?", at Kashihara Sports Park in Kashihara City. Nara JETNet Consists of the 4 Coordinators for International Relations (CIR) and 67 Assistant Language Teachers (ALT) in Nara Prefecture. Its planning Council, whose members are the 4 CIRs and 1 ALT, have been holding international events in Nara since 2001.

  This event was co-sponsored by the Nara Chapter of the Japanese United Nations Association, and a total of 104 elementary school students from around the prefecture participated. Thanks to the efforts of 44 hard working JETs, presentations were given, activities were held, songs were sung, and displays were made about how Christmas is celebrated in Australia, New Zealand, England, France, Ireland, Canada, and America.

  At approximately 1.00pm, JETs greeted theparticipants are entertained them with face painting and simple games. At 1.30pm the event oficially began, with the JETNet chairwoman making opening remarks about Nara JETNet and the day's schedule. Group activities set the tone for the event as JETs helped the children learn Christmas-related English vocabulary. The "Christmas Call" activity, a game in which the participants toss a ball to one another, helped them use the new words.

  Next, the participants listened to brief presentations about Christmas in Canada and the USA. The Canada group presented traditional wintertime activities such as ice hockey, while the America group introduced how Christmas is celebrated in the southwest.

  Groups participated against each other in five Christmas relays such as "What's in the Box?" and "Santa's helper." Relays were held for 20 minutes, after which France, Ireland, and the UK gave presentations about Christmas in their countries. The participants enjoyed them all.

  These presentations were followed by the final three activities: Christmas Mats, Evolution Janken, and a Christmas Pinata. The remaining two countries, Australia and New Zealand, introduced Christmas in the southern hemisphere. The children were delighted to learn that in Australia and New Zealand, Christmas takes place in the summertime!

  The event came to a close with a reading of the poem T'was the Night Before Christmas and a brief Christmas Carol sung together with participants and their parents. There was one more surprise in store for the children, however -- Santa came and distributed gifts to everyone with a big smile and one last, "Merry Christmas!"

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