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Summer is a great time to get outdoors, but not all adventuring has to do with hiking up some steep mountain trail, or kayaking on a lake. Not everyone is into the great outdoors, but there is one topic that everyone can adventure and explore in. Food! Today we will be talking about snacks. Snacks are the one of the best types of food, because you get to try a variety of goodies at once. The snacks I will be talking about are featured from the beautiful country of Japan (日本).
The first featured snack is fruit gummies! I know a lot of us have grown up with the fruit gummies as a snack in lunches, but these fruit gummies from Japan are off the charts delicious. They are made with real fruit juice, so they are surprisingly juicy and really taste like the fruit. These fruits gummies come in all different flavors like strawberry, grape, blueberry,etc. So far I have only tried pear, but it was by far the best fruit gummy I have ever had.
The next snack features a character you might know well from your childhood, it’s Thomas the Tank Engine candy! This candy is called トーマスのチューイング キャンヂィ, translating exactly to Thomas’s chewing candy. It’s a little odd, because it somewhat resembles the texture and feel of gum, but it is a yummy treat to have on the go. It comes in a variety of flavors, but the ones I have seen so far were only purple grapes and green grapes.
Our next snack is one that might be more recognizable, but is still a little unknown in the U.S., rice crackers! Rice crackers are a
tasty snack and come in numerous varieties. There is original, spicy, sweet or mixes of spicy and sweet. Some varieties have more crackers with nori(seaweed) wrapped around it, so be sure to try some out and try new flavors. My friend Rachael and I really like this party pack of assorted rice crackers called おつまみ, which literally
means “snack”. This could be a good one to start out on because it has such a big assortment of rice crackers to try.
Those are my three japanese snacks to try this week. If you want to find them, you can online or at a nearby asian food market, like Uwajimaya or Fubonns. Have fun snacking everyone!
I am sure you all have probably noticed by now the beautiful pale pink petals blowing across campus from the Sakura trees down near the O’Connell Sports Center. What better way is there to enjoy their beauty than with a celebration at the Tenth Annual Sakura Festival!
For those who do not know, the Sakura Trees were a gift from John Kageyama, President of America Kotobuki Electronics, Inc. He gave 100 beautiful Shirofugen cherry trees (Sakura Trees) to the City of Vancouver to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Washington’s statehood. On April 11, 1990 they were planted on the Clark College Campus. The Sakura Festival will entail a variety of activities such as table displays of different aspects of Japanese culture (manga, food, clothes, etc.), a presentation from the Japanese Language Students at Clark, and a greeting from the children in the Early Childhood Education.
Some other performances that you won’t want to miss are the Soran Bushi Dance and the Portland Taiko group. The Soran Bushi dance, otherwise known as the Fisherman Dance, will be performed by some of our students in the Japanese Language department here at Clark. They have been working very hard during dance practice to perform at this event so be sure to come support your fellow penguins!
The Portland Taiko Group is definitely a performance that you’ll want to check out.Taiko is an ancient Japanese art form of percussion using large, barrel shaped drums. The sound of the drums is powerful and almost a dance within itself the way that the drummers move. The Portland Taiko group comes highly recommended as a Professional Taiko Group, so come and check it out!
The Sakura Festival is happening this Thursday, April 15, 2015 and will be starting at 1 p.m. down at the Sakura Trees near O’Connell Sports Center. For the performances please join the festival up in the Student Center of Gaiser Hall at 2 p.m. There will be refreshments along with the table displays.
Many students on campus are taking foreign language classes, and this last quarter I began learning Japanese, and it has been fantastic! The language is lovely and so is the culture of Japan, but what is really interesting to me is how foreign language classes seem to draw people together. A few weeks ago I was in the tutoring center for Japanese and after getting help I was invited to hang out with some other students studying Japanese. I said that I’d go, and it turned out to be one of the best nights I’ve spent with friends in a while. We played games and ate Japanese food like takoyaki! So now I have a group of friends that I’ve only known for not even a month, yet they make me feel like I’ve always been part of the group. This is the beauty of foreign language classes and why I encourage more students at Clark to take some.
In many classes you will have group members or partners, but most of the time students only talk about their assignments and the class. Foreign language classes are different because the whole class is about learning to converse with each other: how to say hello, how to ask how someone is doing, how to say what day it is, and so on. Because of this, you naturally learn more about your classmates throughout the class and create more friendships than you normally would in another class. Even in places outside of class, it is possible to make more friends with foreign languages, such as in language clubs or like how I made friends in the tutoring center. It’s even likely that you can make friends with people in different class levels than you. All of the friends I made that day are in a higher level language class than I am.
If you are the kind of person who has trouble when it comes to making friends, want some awesome people to talk to, or want a supportive and fun environment, you should think about taking a foreign language class! I would highly recommend it!