Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sakushin Gakuin Section Dinner -AJ Skinner

After visiting Nikko, we spent the afternoon at Sakushin Gakuin High School in Utsunomiya, Japan. We rehearsed as a band and then invited members of the Sakushin band to rehearse with us in preparation for the combined concert tomorrow. After the rehearsal, we were invited to go out to eat with students in their band. We divided into groups that combined those who play the same instrument in each band (for example, the clarinetists from the Wartburg band went to eat with the clarinetists in the Sakushin band, etc.). 

We euphonium players ate at an Italian-style restaurant called La Pausa. I ate some delicious pizza with shrimp, while some of the Sakushin girls ate different types of pasta.

Talking at dinner proved to be more difficult than expected. Although the three girls from Sakushin School knew a very small amount of English, we knew even less Japanese. However, we had a fun time asking each other questions- mostly in English, of course- to learn about one another. Questions included, “What music do you like?” “What are your hobbies?” and, “How many family members do you have?” Often times we would not understand what the others were saying, in which case we would just laugh at ourselves and try again. The girls were very friendly, polite, and certainly fun to talk to, even though we shared a very limited number of words. I hope the girls learned as much as we did from the experience.

One of the main purposes for going on this trip is to learn by interacting with people from a culture other than our own. This evening we were finally able to socialize and just spend time with some Japanese students rather than simply being tourists and observing from a distance. Although communicating was very difficult, I had a great time discovering how that even people from the other side of the world with language differences have a fantastic number of similarities. It was a strange feeling for me to realize that we might speak different languages but we think the same way. Some things, such as music, food, and smiling, are applicable across all cultures. We were fortunate enough to utilize all of these in our time getting to know the Sakushin Gakuin students. 

Hajimamashite! Arigatou Gozaimasu! (Nice to meet you! Thank you very much!)

1 comment:

  1. Great post AJ! Seems like you were the only guy of the group--that must have been fun haha! Sounds like the euphonium group (and mostly likely the other instrument groups) had a good time even though you couldn't understand each other completely. Very cool experience!

    God bless,

    Angela Zook