Fair Highlights Japanese Culture

Amy Hirsch

Plaza Vaquero was filled with the sounds of Japanese drums inviting those interested or simply curious to the GCC Japan Fair.

Audre Levy, GCC president, observed “the opportunity to showcase the diverse cultures that we serve is wonderful.this probably represents exactly what a community conference should be – one in which we all come together as a community and celebrate our uniqueness.”

The event, held April 28, was sponsored by the Glendale Noon and Sunrise Rotary, Kofu Rotary from? Japan, GCC Rotaract Club, Japan Club, Japanese Language department, International? Students and GCC Foundation.
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Those in attendance had the opportunity to sample Japanese food, including a teriyaki chicken dish which was enjoyed by many. Students wearing traditional Japanese conical straw hats (sugegasa) demonstrated lively Japanese dancing.
The drumming company, Hikari Taiko, provided continuous entertainment throughout the program. The traditional Japanese drums, known as taiko, have been part of religious and military ceremonies for hundreds of years. Only recently have they become popular with traveling drummer groups, many having been formed by college students.
Exhibits relating to Japanese culture were set up by a number of organizations.
A gift of $2,000 was made jointly by the Rotary Club chapters to support the GCC Japanese language teaching program for the purchase of books, DVDs and language learning software.

The Rotary Club was first established in 1905 in Chicago, rapidly spreading worldwide and becoming Rotary International in 1921. The organization originally developed with the primary goal of helping communities in need.

More recently the environment, literacy, children and hunger have become major areas of involvement for the Rotary Club.

The Rotaract club was also represented. This service organization for members ranging from 18 to 30-years-old began as a branch of Rotary International and focuses on the development of young adults as leaders in their communities with the motto “self development through fellowship and service.”

Those students with a serious interest in the study of Japanese language and culture were able to meet with a representative from the Aurora Japanese Language Scholarship Foundation. This organization is based in Los Angeles and recently celebrated its tenth anniversary.

Grants are awarded annually to U.S. citizens living in California who make a proposal explaining their interest for travel to Japan in order to study some aspect of Japanese culture. The award includes a $3,000 scholarship plus roundtrip airfare.

Applications are due by May 16 and can be found at www.jlsf-aurora.org along with additional program information.

The Japan Fair brought to campus the opportunity to experience an introduction to an ancient culture, many of those attending appeared interested in learning more.