Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Monday, February 2, 2015

A little bit Japanese - Tomodachi Day

We had a day out with a Japanese flavour on Saturday with our SLG friends.  Ashley was in charge of the day and we met first for brunch at the California Garden Centre Cafe in Lower Hutt.  We had time to browse around the large shop too, looking at plants, shrubs and all manner of garden art, including two huge giraffes - you can just see part of one over my shoulder.  Wonder what the neighbours would say if we came home with them?

P1310002 Jenny, Ashley and Robin eating brunch

Then we moved on to the Little Theatre in Lower Hutt to take part in Tomodachi Day, acknowledging 20 years of Hutt City being a Sister City with Minoh, Japan.  The official Japanese delegation was welcomed with many speeches and Maori songs (waiata).  We particularly enjoyed the Maori group singing “Sukiyaki” in Japanese, followed by “How Great Thou Art” in Maori – a great finale to the welcoming ceremony.  Cutting the official cake took place on stage, and pieces were later distributed to the guests.

P1310010 Officials on stage

P1310006Beautifully dressed ladies in their kimonos ready to hand out the cake

After sitting through all the speeches it was good to follow the crowd and move outside.  The driving beat of the drums called us, and we watched as Mukume Taiko Drummers from Kapiti showed us how it was done.  The group of drummers kept us entertained as they moved around the drum set, sticks held aloft, as they energetically beat the drums in unison.  All that arm stretching and hip flexing must be giving them a great workout.

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P1310017 Mukume Taiko Drummers

The drums were packed away and a group of pretty little girls from the Koten Dance Group danced to quite a different tempo.  Their ages ranged from 4 to 10 years old and they looked a picture in their lovely kimonos as they gently danced and swayed to the music.

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P1310030 Koten Dance Group

It certainly was a day with a difference - many thanks to Ashley for organising our SLG day out with a Japanese flavour.

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