Event 24

Nara JETNet 24th Event
Cultural Exchange in Hayama

  On October 11, 2008, Nara JETNet in cooperation with the Nara Prefectural Outdoor Center for the Youth (Yagai Katsudo Center) held its 24th international exchange event: "Cultural Exchange in Hayama.”  Nara JETNet is a committee which plans events to promote cultural exchange and understanding between the members of the JET Programme and citizens of Nara Prefecture. The organizers of JETNet’s events are the 5 Coordinators for International Relations (CIR) in Nara City, as well as 1 Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) from the Nara Board of Education, while the members are JET Programme participants from throughout Nara Prefecture. This event involved primary, middle and high school-age participants as well as their guardians, who enjoyed themselves by cooking and playing games with members of the JET Programme.

  At 11.00am, after greetings from Yagai Katsudo Center staff and the JETNet chairperson had taken place, participants played icebreaker games in order to get to know each other better. They then broke into teams to cook five types of foreign dishes, including chijimi, pizza, crepes, egg and tomato stir-fry and mashed potatoes. All participants then enjoyed eating the food together. After lunch, everyone proceeded to a large field and played gesture games, the “human knot” game, four-square, and capture the flag – games all popular in foreign countries. Once the event had ended, candies as well as goods featuring “Sento-kun”, the mascot for the 1,300th Anniversary of the Heijyo-kyo Capital in Nara, were distributed to the winning teams.

  While the purpose of this event was to allow those within the primary to high school age range to experience foreign culture, foreign participants were able to learn much from the Japanese participants as well.  In addition, while Japanese participants took part in games and cooking with foreign origins, it seems that JET Programme participants thoroughly enjoyed these as well as their interaction with the target participants. The responses to the surveys completed by Japanese participants included full points assigned to each of the categories (such as overall event quality and level of interaction with JET Programme participants), and written comments unanimously indicated that they enjoyed the day. From the responses to the survey given to JET Programme participants, it is easily understood that they too enjoyed the games and cooking. Capture the flag was easily the most popular of the day's games, while the “human knot" game, which was carried out by each team individually, was also rated highly.  We would like to again thank the Yagai Katsudo Center as well as all participants for their cooperation and support.

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