Event 12

Nara JETNet 12th Event
International Food Festival

  On March 6, 2005, Nara JETNet held its 12th international event, the fourth annual International Food Festival, at Haibara Community Center. The JETNet council, comprised of the 4 CIRs in Nara Prefecture and the assistant language teacher at the Nara Prefectural Board of Education, has been planning various international events in Nara since 2001.

  The International Food Festival was co-sponsored by the Nara Branch of the United Nations and supported by the Cultural and International Affairs Division of the Nara Prefecture. 177 citizens of Nara prefecture attended, and 53 hard-working JET Programme participants gave presentations on the food and culture of 12 different countries: New Zealand, Australia Mexico, France, Italy, Thailand, Ireland, Israel, China, the United Kingdom, America and Canada.

  At approximately 12.30pm, Japanese participants started to arrive and received nametags upon registration. The fifty who had been previously selected to participate in the cooking sessions were given special nametags with the flag of their country group.

  At 1.00pm the event officially started, with the JETNet chairwoman welcoming everyone. The festival was split into two sessions, each with cooking and exchange components; while cooking was taking place in the kitchen, exchange activities were being held in the main hall.

  After the opening greetings, participants in the first cooking session left for the kitchen while the first exchange session got underway in the main hall. Australia/New Zealand, Mexico, France, Italy and Thailand were the groups cooking in the kitchen, and country presentations were given by the Ireland, Israel, China, the UK, USA and Canada groups. Israel’s presentation received much praise from participants for the presenter’s clear speaking, while the UK presentation about dishes with interesting names also received high marks. At the end of the hour participants from the kitchen brought what they had cooked to the main hall, where everyone enjoyed the various dishes.

  Next, the USA/Canada, Ireland, Israel, China and England cooking teams left for the kitchen while interviews of those who participated in the first cooking session were conducted, followed by country presentations for Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, France, Italy and Thailand. The New Zealand team performed a Haka, a traditional Maori warrior dance. The Mexico team’s presentation received the highest score of all due to its energetic salsa demonstration. At 3.30pm both sessions had been completed and all participants lined up to taste the dishes being served at the country booths while exchanging with JET participants. Questionnaires revealed that almost half the participants had participated in a previous JETNet event, and everyone commented that they had a wonderful time and enjoyed the cooking and presentations at the festival.

The JETNet team would like to thank everyone who participated and we look forward to seeing you at our next event.

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