My daughter recently had the unique opportunity to join a group of Japanese college students from Mukogawa Women’s University to celebrate Hinamatsuri.
Hinamatsuri is the Doll’s Festival, also known as Girl’s Day, a day for families to pray for the health and happiness of their young daughters.
Boys not allowed. Well, they let us hang around while the girls had fun.
The students from MWU, which is in Nishinomiya, Japan, were here for a year of study at the school’s branch campus in Spokane, Washington.
What’s cool is that, while they’re here soaking up the American lifestyle and improving their English skills, they took the time to expose their own culture to a group of Girl Scouts.
My daughter was paired up with a patient young woman named Ayaka, who showed her how to wear a yukata, fold origami swans, make rice cakes, paint kanji, and play with traditional Japanese toys.
After a few hours, most of the girls had warmed up quite nicely to their hosts. There’s nothing like arts and crafts to bring different cultures together! At the end of the stay, they sang the Hanimatsuri song:
Let’s light the lanterns
Let’s set peach flowers
Five court musicians are playing flutes and drums
Today is a joyful Doll’s Festival
My daughter had a great time, and was beyond thrilled to experience a brief taste of Japan.
You should never pass up an opportunity to teach your kids about other countries and cultures. Ignorance of the world beyond our borders will turn eager young learners into shallow closed-minded adults.