68000

68th Afternoon Tea
-Oolong tea ceremony and introduction of Taiwan-
Date: February 23 (Sat), 2019 from 2pm to 4pm
Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Room 5
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Guest speaker: Mrs. Shushin Kaku
She was born in Kagi city, Taiwan and moved to Taipei when she was 14 years old. She married a Japanese and came to Japan in 2006. In return to the help of Japanese people who taught her many things, she wants to let Japanese people know about Taiwan.

68th Afternoon tea, “Oolong tea ceremony and introduction of Taiwan”, was held on February 23 (Sat). 42 people and 18 staffs attended the event. Since Taiwan is located near Japan and the title was about famous oolong tea, participants listened and watched enthusiastically the speech of Mrs Kaku and the slides she showed.
First, we were very impressed by the slides of beautiful nature such as mountains, lakes, and famous sightseeing spot, Jiufen, which made us think to visit Taiwan.
Then, at the topic of food and oolong tea of Taiwan, all of us listened attentively to the talk about oolong tea. After this, we rearranged the room and had tea time. We saw demonstration of real Taiwan’s way of preparing oolong tea. We could taste oolong tea from the first class tea leaves. There were voices such as “so tasty”, “It changed the image of oolong tea.”, and “More interested in Taiwan and oolong tea”.
At Q & A session, there were many questions about oolong tea.

67000

67th Afternoon tea

“Invitation to French cuisine culture”

Date: October 27(Sat), 2018 from 2pm to 4pm

Place: Aoba Community and Cross- Cultural Center Room 5

Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Guest speaker: Ms. Benedicte Mehl

Ms. Benedicte Mehl came to Japan in 1994 and worked for a food and beverage company. Realizing her dream to teach French home cuisine which was one of her good memories of her childhood, she opened her own atelier and has been holding many lectures such as French home cuisine, gastronomy, table manner, and gourmet tour.

On October 27 (Sat), it turned out to be a very fine day though the weather forecast said it would be a rainy day and 66 people including 14 staffs attended the lecture.

“French cuisine culture” declared as “world intangible heritage” in 2010 is of strong interest for Japanese people and attendants listened eagerly to the lecture of Ms. Venedicte Mehl. 

  After her self-introduction, she made her presentation of “French meals of a day”, “preparation of meals — welcome to French kitchen”, “table coordination and table manner”, and “recent popular food concept” in fluent Japanese, using screen images and exhibited materials.

At quiz time, some answers were different from our understanding, which made us surprised and impressed. 

At tea time, typical French cake “gateau chocolat” made by Ms. Benedicte Mehl was served and we all enjoyed the delicious taste.

At Q & A time, though there were some difficult questions, 2 hours had passed very quickly in warm atmosphere. 

We were impressed by the depth of French cuisine culture and could understand the food custom at French family and importance of it.

We appreciate all participants.

AT66 01

66th Afternoon tea

The emerald of Europe, “Slovenia”

Date: July 21 (Sat), 2018 from 2pm to 4pm

Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Room 5

Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Guest speaker: Mr. Matej  Sagmeister

Mr. Matej  Sagmeister came to Japan in 1999.  He is teaching at a dance school in Tokyo while he appears on the nationwide stage shows.  In 2011 he established “Z-star Motion Co. LTD” to broaden his activity.  Now he is mainly teaching the joy of expressing oneself to music and rhythm and also the exercise to move the body easily.

We had 66th afternoon tea, “the emerald of Europe, Slovenia” on July 21(Sat). 

Many people attended the event despite of extreme heat. 

The guest speaker was Mr. Matej Sagmeister from Slovenia. 

Slovenia became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991. Slovenia is surrounded by Italy, Austria, Hungary, and Croatia and is as large as Shikoku island.  The area facing to Adriatic sea is a resort area, the mountain side close to Austria is a winter sport area, and the inland area connected to Croatia is Karst which is the origin of the word karst.  Slovenia is a treasure house of calcareous caves.  Slovenia is a beautiful country surrounded by emeraldine lakes and forests.

Mr. Jatej had never eaten fast foods until he became an adult.  He grew up going out to get mushrooms with families and eating house made yogurt and hum.  He had healthy life!  Honey is also an important food.  Elan ski is famous too.

He showed us many pictures; so many participants told us that they wanted to visit Slovenia. 

At tea time, Slovenian fragrant linden tea was served and we all enjoyed it.

 

000

65th Afternoon tea
“My Ghana, my Japan”

Date: February 24 (Sat), 2018 from 2pm to 4pm
Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Room 5
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Guest speaker: Mr. Tony Justice (from Ghana)

Mr. Tony Justice came to Japan in 1991. He established African Heritage Committee in 2015 and assumed the position of general manager. He has been engaging in the activity to enhance the friendship between Japan and Africa. They made dining rooms for children in Sagamihara and Aobadai to provide free meals, together with chances to experience different cultures such as African drum and to study English lesson.

On February 24 (Sat), we invited Mr. Tony Justice as a guest speaker. He told us about the history, culture and daily life in Ghana. He also told us about his friendship activity and his dream for the future. 47 people (including 5 children), three invited guests and staffs filled up the room.

For most of us, what we knew about Ghana was chocolate, and Dr. Hideo Noguchi who studied yellow fever there. But through his easy and gentle lecture, we got to know the daily life, foods, history, and interesting cultures of Ghana.
Especially it was surprising for us to know that they use various kinds of coffins depending upon the disposition and tastes of the dead. After the lecture, we admired greatly to his effort for children of both Japan and Africa and understood the importance of his activity.
His lecture was easy to understand and full of interesting topics, as the result we felt a distant country Ghana much closer.

After the tea break, he answered to our questions gently and at the end we all enjoyed the session of African drum and maracas. Participation of children in drum part of the session added great fun for all of us.
Many attendants left words such as “It was fun” and “It was interesting”.
We appreciate your participation.

 

000 000a

64th  Afternoon Tea

“Living under aurora”--Vast nature of Yukon, far north of Canada--

Date: October 28, 2017 (Sat) from 2pm to 4pm

Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center  Room5

Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Guest Speakers: Mr.Tomohiro Kamimura and Mrs. Tammy Trotic

They enjoy a simple ger life in a wood with 15 sled dogs, canoeing on Yukon river in summer and sledding with their dog in winter.

They run a tour guide company aiming to connect nature and humans.

We invited Mr. Tokohiro Kamimura and Mrs. Tammy Trotic who live in Yukon Territory of Canada and we listened to the presentation “Living under aurora”—Vast nature of Yukon, far north of Canada-- on rainy October 28 (Sat).  

Since the topic was about aurora which all of us want to see at least once, 45 people attended to the lecture. They told us about their life showing colorful panoramic pictures of the nature. In summer, they enjoy canoeing on Yukon river under midnight sun and in winter they move around wood on their dog sled under aurora.  While we listened to the realistic lecture, we all felt that we want to visit there once. Based on the experience of a ger life in the wood with 15 sled dogs and working as a guide to connect nature and humans, they taught us about the big nature of aurora, wild animals, recommended spots of Yukon, and the best season to visit there. 

At the tea break, maple cookies and tea were served which all of us enjoyed very much. In the last part of the lecture, they answered to all the questions from participants politely.

We, all staffs, were very impressed to see that participants had smile when they left.

We appreciate all of you.

 

000

”63th Afternoon Tea   “Affluent life in Caspian sea area, Russia”

Date: July 15 (Sat), 2017 from 2pm to 4pm

Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center

Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
Guest speaker; Mrs. Yulia  Stonogina ( Mrs. Yulia Ichino)

Mrs. Yulia Stonogina was born in Astrakhan City where Volga flows into Caspian sea.  She studied at Department of Journalism, Moscow University and finished the post graduate course. She worked as a journalist and a researcher in the field of cross cultural exchange between Japan and Russia.  She came to Japan in 2011 and has been staying in Japan.  We invited Mrs. Yulia Ichino from Astrakhan, Russia on July 15 (Sat) and had her lecture, “Affluent culture of Caspian sea area”. 
Astrakhan where Volga flows in to Caspian sea is a multiethnic city of 173 ethnic groups such as Russian, Tartar, and Kazakh and of 14 religious groups.  People live together peacefully.
Since it is located in the Southern part of Russia and the climate is milder, many people from Moscow and Saint Petersburg visit here for fishing and camping.  Caviar is famous and Catfish called Camas is popular.  Water melon is also famous.  It is two hours flight from Moscow to Astrakhan.
At teatime, Russian chocolates and Russian traditional cookie, сушка was served to us by Mrs. Yulia.  We all enjoyed them.There were samovar (water boiler), matrioshka (Russian nesting doll), Balalaika (Russian stringed musical instrument), and ethnic costumes in the room, which gave us Russian atmosphere.At the end, Mrs. Yulia and her husband who always support her sang for us a Russian folk song, “Степь да степь кругом, Unending wild field”, which all of us gave a big cheer. The voice was very beautiful and touched our heart. 

000

62th Afternoon Tea
”My homeland Bhutan”
Date: February 25, 2017 (Sat) from 2pm to 4pm
Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Room 5
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
Guest speaker: Mr. Tshering  Gyeltshen
    
Mr. Tshering  Gyeltshen was born in Bhutan and now is working as a freelance tour guide after working for a travel company.  He came to Japan in 2013.  He is skilled at mountain climbing.  His favorite Japanese foods are Sukiyaki and Ramen.  He, in Bhutan’s ethnic cloth “Gho”, introduced us Bhutan which is a new country not known well to us.  Bhutan has rich nature and it is protected by the constitution in which 75% of the land should be maintained as forest. It is also a wild birds’ kingdom. The area of whole country is nearly the same as Kyushu Island of Japan. It has undulating landscape with about 150m altitude southern part and high mountains of more than 7500 m in the northern part. It has 20 prefectures. The only transportation means had been on foot until 1960.  Their main foods are rice, pepper and vegetables. They don’t eat meat since killing is prohibited.  (They don’t kill even mosquitos, but drive off.)  Education and medical service are free.  His speech was very impressive.  They also pay great respect to Dasho Nishioka, a Japanese who helped Bhutan as an agricultural adviser. People of Bhutan are very faithful to Tibetan Buddhism and seem to have spiritually affluent lifestyles.  There were several participants who had visited Bhutan before. In Q & A time, they told us their good impression about Bhutan.  The Afternoon Tea was filled with warm atmosphere.

 

 

000

The 61th Afternoon Tea
“Ecuador, a country of surprise and attraction”

Date: October 29 (Sat), 2016 from 2pm to 4pm
Place; Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Room No5
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
Guest speaker: Mr. Akio Kobayashi, Mrs. Anna Kobayashi

Mrs. Anna Kobayashi was born in Cuenca, the third biggest city in Ecuador and got married to Mr. Akio Kobayashi who stayed there as an overseas representative of Japanese company.  When Mr. Kobayashi retired from the company, they bought a house in Cuenca and have been actively working as a translator and a language teacher, moving back and forth between Japan and Ecuador.

We had Mr. and Mrs. Kobayashi as guest speakers on October 29.   They told us about Ecuador, especially their daily experience there, where they spent half of their time after retirement.  They also showed us a rare video of ruins and markets.
Panama hats, folk crafts, and fabrics were exhibited in the room.   At tea time, we enjoyed Ecuador chocolate and Guava cakes.  Mr. Akio performed Zamponia (Bamboo instrument) and Quena, which gave us South American sound.

 

AT60000

The 60th afternoon tea
“Spain which everyone wants to know.”
Date: July 16 (Sat) from 2pm to 4pm
Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, room 5
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Guest speaker: Ms. BEGOÑA  GONZALEZ  AFUERA.
She is from Madrid Spain. She studied archaeology at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and then engaged in archaeological work in Galicia, north of Spain, for 6 years. She came to Japan in 2012 being interested in the language which is not in Europe.  Now she teaches Spanish at Yokohama Spain Association and at Japanese universities.
This time, she told us about “Spain which everyone wants to know”, such as the history of Spain, life and culture in Madrid using many slides.
The room was packed to the capacity with 50 attendees (including 2 foreigners), 14 staffs, and support students from USA, since Spain is the country which many Japanese are interested in.  As an archaeologist, she told us cultural transition made by migration of different ethnic people in detail.  We could understand the history of establishment of Spain well.  We also learned that some of our lifestyle habits today are originated in Spain, which we did not know.  We were very much impressed and satisfied to know them.  
After we enjoyed a break with tea and Spanish cakes, we had Q/A session.  She answered to every question politely.  With deeper understanding, our interest in Spain was enhanced.  We, host staffs were very happy to know that all attendees spent pleasant and valuable times.

日Date: February 27 (Sat) from 2pm to 4pm.
Place: No.5 meeting room of Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center.
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

AT590Guest speaker
Ms. Pawina Rapitak (Yuh-chan is her nickname)
She is from Bangkok, Thailand.  She studied economics at a university and came to Japan in 2007.  After studying Japanese at a Japanese language school, she studied at a college of social welfare for two years and got a nursing care worker license.  She is now working at a welfare facility in Aoba Ward.  She also got N1 degree of Japanese language proficiency test
She made a presentation titled “My struggles in nursery care work by Yuh-chan from Thailand”.  She told us her struggle and joy in the daily work, her future dream, and also about Thailand showing slides.
There is a big gap between the rich and the poor in Thailand.  She experienced volunteer works with her family since her childhood.  This experience made her take a job of nursing care.  The difficulty of nursing care is in communication, due to the difficulty of Japanese such as humble form, honorific expression, and dialect. However she was very happy when she was told “Thank you”
The formal name of Thai is Kingdom of Thailand.  Thai means freedom. It used to be called Sham. The total area of the country is about 1.4 times as large as that of Japan and the population is about the half of Japan. The capital is Bangkok.  The climate is tropical monsoon consisting of rainy season (May to October), dry season (from October to February), and hot season (from February to May).  In the hot season, the temperature in the daytime goes up to 35 to 40 C, so people need to be careful about heat stroke.  
King paean is played twice a day and people stop moving to pledge their allegiance and appreciation to the king.  LOI KRATHONG FESTIVAL ( similar to Japanese Toro nagashi; sending off the spirits of the dead on lanterns floated on the waters of ariver or the sea on the last day of the Bon Festival) is held at many places in the country once a year.  Native costume of Thailand was shown.  She brought traditional Thailand cake, Khanon, which we all enjoyed delectably.

Date: October 24 (Sat) from 2pm to 4pm
Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Rm 5
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

AT0000Guest Speaker
Ms. Oksana Pisknova
Оксана Пискунова
Ms. Oksana Pisknova is from Ukraine and came to Japan in 1966. She has been engaged in teaching Russian, translation and interpreting. She participated in NHK TV/ Radio programs of Russian language lesson.

She made a presentation titled “My homeland Ukraine”. She told us about Ukraine which we rarely have a chance to learn about.
She told us many interesting topics such as embroidery design on their traditional costume (amulet), carpet (put on the floor and also on the wall, habit of taking shoes off in the house), school (wear a traditional costume to attend the school entrance ceremony in September), National flag (blue represents sky and yellow represents wheat field.), and dietary life (millet porridge, borscht)

We were attracted by traditional native costumes, table cloths, crafts, dolls, Easter eggs, and books exhibited in the room. We also enjoyed Ukrainian cakes and tea served at the tea break.
There were many Q&A after the presentation. She also told us that the best season for sightseeing in Ukraine is from April to September and showed us the difference between Russian and Ukrainian by reading two languages. We could enjoy the difference of tone.
This year is the
semi centennial of sister-city relationship between Odessa of Ukraine and Yokohama City. Ukrainian Christmas will be exhibited in “2015 World Christmas in Yamate Seiyoukan” at “Gaikokan no ie—Diplomat’s House”. (Dec.1 to 25th)

Date: July 18 (Sat) from 2pm to 4pm

Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Room No5


Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge

Guest speakers
Mrs. Gole Maryam
She studied art at Teheran Assad University and came to Japan after her marriage to Mr.Siamak.  She has held her personal exhibition both in Iran and inJapan.

 

 

Mr. Siamak
He studied English and literature at Teheran University and came to Japan to study Japanese in 1998. He is now working as a translator and an English teacher in Japan.


 



In 57th afternoon tea, we had Mr. and Mrs. Siamak and Gole Maryam.  They made a presentation titled “What kind of country is Iran” showing video.  
They told us about Iran which we usually don’t have chance to learn about.
Starting from the geometric shape of Iran, which is similar to that of Persian cat, their presentation covered wide range of interests, such as history and ethnic group, geometry including desert/high mountains more than 5000m and weather, world heritages, native costumes, wedding ceremony, musical instruments, diet culture, and festivals.
   
There was an exhibition of Persian carpets and tiles together with explanation about them too. We also enjoyed performance of drum play.  This was a very good occasion for us to learn the charm of Iran.
Mrs. Gole Maryam treated us, all audience, with Iranian desserts made of her hand-made rosewater during break time.  We heard many voices of “Taste delicious!”

After the break, they answered to each question politely and at the end they wrote the name of participants in Persian letters.

We hope this event could switch on your interest in Iran.
Thank you very much.

 The 56th afternoon tea
  ”The Charm of Andalusia”
 
Date February 28 (Sat) 2015. from 2pm to 4pm
Place; Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Room No.5
Host; Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
Guest speaker; Mr. Solano Gualan Miguel; He was born in Malaga and grew up in Marbella, Spain.  He came to Japan in 2007 and is now a professional juggler and a circus performer.  He formed “YUMIRKO” with Ms. Yumiko in 2011 and has been performing in various shows.   
 
In the 56th afternoon tea, we had Mr. Miguel from Malaga Spain and he told us “the Charm of Andalusia”. Since the topic was about popular Spain, the room was fully attended by 51 attendants and 14 staffs.  He told us about foods, culture and sightseeing spots of Andalusia, one of most charming places in Spain, the country of passion.  He showed us many slides to explain the charm and we were all very satisfied.  During break time, we enjoyed Spanish sweets.   After the break, we were excited to see the professional performance by Mr. Miguel.   At the end, the room was filled with cheers and applause in fun atmosphere.  After the meeting, many attendants gave us their appreciation for the event.    We were very happy.  Gracias!
 
 
Spanish connects the world”---A talk about countries where Spanish is spoken---
Date: November 8th (Sat), 2014 from 2pm to 4pm
Place: Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center Room No 5
Host: Yokohama Aoba International Lounge
Guest speaker; Mr. Morales Jaime from La Pas Bolivia, a former journalist, Director of Centro Cultural Latino Americano Yokohama 
He has 22 year’s career as a lecturer at JICA, universities, and private companies. 
He is now Director of Centro Cultural Latino Americano Yokohama and a lecturer of Spanish at Depart of Language Study, Teikyo University. 
 
 
Hola
Mr. Morales Jaime gave us a lecture titled “Spanish connects the world” which was about the countries where Spanish is spoken, .  Bolivia has one of most beautiful lakes of the world, Salar de Uyuni.              The capital La Paz is at 3600m elevation which is as high as the summit of Mt. Fuji. Mr. Morales was born in La Paz and used to play soccer there.  Isn’t it surprising to play soccer in such high altitude?  He talked us many interesting stories of Bolivia and also of the countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Mexico and Paraguay where he worked as a journalist. He also showed us many pictures of these countries. 
 
 


"Frederic Chopin in his youth" lectured by Polish woman.
Date&Time:Oct.26(Sat), 2013. 14:00-16:00.
Place : Aoba Community and Cross-Cultural Center, Conference Room.
Aoba International Lounge hosted the lecture meeting inviting Ms. Bozena Machida, graduated from dept of Mongolian studies at University of Warsaw in Poland  She lived in several areas of Japan and also lived in Vienna, Moscow and London due to business of her husband.