(Originally written: Wednesday, October 2, 2013)
Our school festival was this past Sunday! My first Japanese school festival, yay! ^_^
The opening ceremonies started at 9am in the gym. The Principal got up and gave a short speech, and then the 1nensei and the 3nensei performed some dances. The 1nensei did a body percussion dance (almost like stepping, but think Japanese-ified). That was pretty awesome to see! They were so good. The 3nensei were my favourite, though; they performed a traditional Japanese dance (to music) that is customary to my city. The girls all wore beautiful yukata and the boys also wore traditional clothes (a yukata-looking top with shorts on bottom). They danced in a large circle around the gym. It was really cool to see!
After they performed, the opening ceremonies closed and there was a short intermission as we got set up for the next part of the day – the English Speech showcase. My two students from the speech contest earlier in September performed both of their speeches again, this time on the school stage and in front of all of their peers and parents. I was so proud of both of them!
After, there was a short skit about how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), followed by a presentation about various events that have taken place in the school recently (at least, I think that’s what it was about…?). Then it was off to the classrooms!
Each class decorated their homeroom into different themes. All of the 1nensei’s rooms were general – they hosted a second-hand shop, a calligraphy showcase, and a display of different items made in their tech ed classes. Upstairs, the 2nensei were responsible for lunch. Their classrooms were decorated like restaurants and they served the curry-rice and bibimbap and the many desserts that we had been able to purchase in advance that was prepared by the kitchen staff.
Finally, the 3nensei had themed classrooms. One class had a games room, including a bowling alley and a hacky sack toss. Another classroom had a balloon room with old pictures of us teachers where you had to guess which teacher was in each picture. (Yours truly was featured as one of the “guess the teachers”!) Another classroom had a beach theme, complete with a pool and tree, and a stage on which several students performed some rap and beatboxing. The students all did a great job with their classrooms! It was a lot of fun.
At 1pm, we all headed back to the gym for the remainder of the festival. We heard the concert band perform, as well as one of the choirs, and then watched a talent show. There were so many dancers! I was surprised. Their level of hip hop was quite good, too. A few students beatboxed here, as well. It was so entertaining! The talent show was capped off with a three-student play that I couldn’t understand but enjoyed nonetheless.
Finally, it was time for the closing ceremonies. They were quite brief, which was nice because I was really tired. With that, the school festival was over! …
… But the teachers still had to celebrate! Right after the school festival, we had my first enkai (drinking party). 22 of us sat at a large table stuffed with food and drank various (unlimited) alcohols. The food was delicious, the conversation was great, and the alcohol was fabulous. I even drank beer! It was a great way to end the day. I’m already looking forward to the next enkai (and the next school festival, of course). :)