Nara JETNet 29th Event
A Very JETNet Christmas
On December 12th, 2009, Nara JETNet held its 29th event entitled “A Very JETNet Christmas” in cooperation with the Katsuragi City Board of Education at the Katsuragi City Cultural Hall. 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 events are the 5 Coordinators for International Relations (CIR) in Nara City, while the members are JET Programme participants located throughout Nara Prefecture. This event saw 57 citizens of the prefecture participate alongside 31 JETs who enjoyed a day full of Christmas themed activities.
The day’s events began at 10.30am, and after greetings from the JETNet chairperson, JETs presented different aspects of winter or Christmas in their countries (Philippines, Trinidad, France and Jamaica). Shortly after, Santa Claus appeared and fielded questions from participants and JETs. Just as lunch began, a giant “Naked Santa” was revealed – a large poster featuring a Santa-like character that appeared to have lost many of his clothes. It was up to participants to write down their wishes for the coming year on red pieces of paper and stick them to Santa Claus to make him a new suit. After lunch, four different crafts were introduced for participants to take part in making, all of which featured a Christmas theme. Reindeer hats, paper snowflakes, felt Christmas tree badges and paper Christmas tree decorations were featured. Following this, JETs performed a Nara-style retelling of “Jack and the Beanstalk” where, as is custom in England around Christmastime, the men play the ladies’ parts and vice versa. Finally, a game of Christmas Bingo was played where winners could choose a present from among those prepared and brought by each participant.
According to surveys collected from participants, most really enjoyed many of the day’s activities. JETs in particular seemed to like the craft-making portion of the day, and there were many positive comments from Nara’s citizens regarding the Christmas play. Other comments include, “I could learn a lot about other cultures while having fun interacting with people. It was an excellent experience for kids!” and, “there were many fun activities, and the best part is that the adults and kids could enjoy them together.” Judging from the survey results, it seems as if both children and adults had fun throughout the day.
Thank you again to everyone who took part in the event!