Coffee Break (Monthly Report) March 2024 issue

Marshall Elliott Ginsler Viner Exchange Coordinator

March: Enjoying Sagamihara culture

Hello. This is Marshall Elliott Ginsler Viner of Sagamihara International Lounge. The Kawazu cherry blossoms are starting to bloom, and we can feel the arrival of spring. How are you spending your time?

What kind of month is March for you? In Ontario, Canada, there is a spring break for schools in mid-March called March Break. Families tend to spend time together during this week. March is also the season for maple syrup. As winter turns to spring, the days are warm and the nights are cold. This causes sap to rise from the roots of the sugar maple. It is during this time that the work of extracting sap from the trees takes place.

March 3rd was a very interesting day. Part of the process of making large kites, such as measuring the bamboo and making small rope wraps, was held at Nito Sports Plaza for the Sagami Big Kite Festival. The Nito Big Kite Preservation Society invited people involved with the U.S. Army Camp Zama to see and experience making a big kite, and I participated as an interpreter. The members of the preservation society worked skillfully and taught the people involved in Camp Zama how to do it with smiles. The people at Camp Zama actively asked questions and had fun working on the project.

The following week, on the 10th, I participated in the Hashimoto Community Center Festival. They saw various performances and exhibitions, and tried Japanese sign language and origami. I had a hard time with origami, but I learned a lot and had fun.

I think it's wonderful that Japan values ​​this kind of traditional culture and places importance on passing it on to the next generation. Canada also has a rich history and culture of indigenous peoples, but unfortunately I don't think many people, including myself, know much about them. Reflecting on the above experience, I decided to become more interested and learn more when I returned to Canada.

See you next month!