2010 New Year Party

From 12 noon of January 9, 2010, the New Year’s celebration of the Atsumi International Scholarship Foundation was held, with about 50 scholarship recipients, Raccoons, and their families gathered.

At this New Year’s party, scholarship recipients cooked up native ethnic dishes mostly by 2009 Scholars: Housam made a Syrian appetizer, Melek made a Turkish dish, and Beck made an Uzbekistan dish. Elmer made a Dutch dish, and, Ye and his younger brother made a Myanmar chili shrimp dish. La Insook (1998 Raccoon) made Korean Kimchi, while Kim Youngsoon, Youngjoo Kwak, and I made a spicy hot chicken dish and mochi dish.

Continuing from last year, the Chinese team also made boiled dumplings this year. The dumpling team leader, Zhang Jian (2008 Raccoon), and assistant, Vroni (2008 Raccoon), came early in the morning to the foundation, to start preparing the dumplings, kneading the dough and slicing up the vegetables. Xiu Zhen (2008 Raccoon) and wife, the son of Wan Libin (2005 Raccoon), Shin-kun, and several others helped out in packing the dumplings.

We all enjoyed very much the native ethnic dishes which were prepared with a lot of affection.

Once the New Year regular activity of mochi-tsuki started, everyone, young or old, headed for the garden to enjoy the mochi-tsuki. There should have been some children who saw mochi-tsuki for the first time. It was the first time for me to see it first hand, and watched with deep interest at how mochi was made.

Another regular activity for the New Year’s party was the Bingo game, which everyone gladly joined in since it went on until everyone had a bingo. I was so happy that I had a bingo as it gave me a sense of being lucky for this year. I think everyone felt the same way too.

Celebrating her 82nd birthday this year, Riji-cho was presented by Eric with Stollen, which is a traditional German cake he brought directly from Germany. With candles lit, everyone sang the happy birthday song in their own native languages, praying for continued good health to our Riji-cho.

In this my first AISF New Year’s paraty, I enjoyed various activities and meeting with everyone. I would like to join again next year, if I am in Japan.

(By Son Jounga, Tran. M. Maquito)

Photos by Ye Kyaw Thu

Photos by Tanihara