Nihon Matsuri is a place rich in information, culture, entertainments, history, traditional food and anything an eye can feed on. The tour of Nihon Matsuri was one of a kind that enabled me explored the hospitality of the Utah community and Japanese American history, traditions and culture (Nihonmatsuri. org). The trip enabled us to learn more about the Japanese American heritage. Firstly, we were made to understand the meaning of the Nihon Matsuri terms, which we found out that Nihon means Japan and Matsuri means festival. Therefore, Nihon Matsuri means Japan festival.
The festival was characterized by calligraphy, artists demonstration of tea ceremony, making of dolls, martial arts such as aikido, karate, iaido and kendo; fashion show; odori performance, taiko, singing; displays of bonsai, ikebana, dolls, paintings, hands-on art projects for children, historical photographs and many other fantastic experience. The event in the Japan Festival on April 25, 2010 was one of a kind that gave me the opportunity to enjoy the various shows, performances, displays, food and even hear the history of the Utah community as well.
I chose the events such as martial art performances because it was the best opportunity to see for myself what have only seen on the movies. Eye ballot eyeball did I see unbelievable performance of artists tactfully fighting with real swords and spears. The dances were also very amusing, original and entertaining. The performers who were beautiful people and adorned in very beautiful and colorful cloths and dresses spiced the day with their rocking performances of dances and songs. The history and what the Utah is all about dominated the talks and discussion.
Being from another culture, history and tribe was not an issue in the Salt Lake City. The people were very hospitable, loving and cordial that the fact that I come from another community and a different part of the world really impressed them. I realized that we human race can be very important people if we can accept our diversity and instead use it as a strength and not a weakness. It all played out during the tour that I realized that it is very good thing to be a Korean in a Japanese environment, eating their foods, watching their performances and enjoying their company; diversity is gold.
During my stay in the festival, I wanted to associate more with the natives because they were friendly and very welcoming. The differences I notice among the people that were there were the different colors of their skins, eyes, attire, hair, stature among others. Despite the differences, one similarity ruled, that all were one people brought together by a common goal or purpose of exploring and appreciating our diversity. Therefore, the differences that existed never played negatively but instead were instrumental in making the event more marvelous.
The event was important to all the people that participated in it in one way or another. Firstly, some people who attended the event for leisure and the benefit they drew from the event are those that are associated with leisure, which is refreshing the mind, and to bring about positive flow of energy in a person. Another group that was there are those who traveled there for academic reasons like me. Like the rest of us, I was able to learn and acquire knowledge on the history, traditions, culture and practices of Utah community.
I was also able to relax, get entertained and interact with people from different lifestyles, which broadened my understanding and perception. I was also able to tour the Salt Lake City, which was a great experience. There was also the other group that either performed or displayed their artifacts or other items. Their benefit was payment they got for either the commodities or services they offered. The government and the sponsors also benefited from the revenue they collected from the event. In one way or another, all that were present in the Nihon Matsuri benefitted.
The treatment I got from the event for lack of a better term was superb. The reception was cordial; my presence among others’ was recognized and was taken through many activities that made me feel very important at the end of the event. The attendants looked after my desires, which were very important to them, and they were willing to give more than I required. Being from another nationality, those I interacted with were also interested in knowing about my people, our way of life and other things.
I realized from the way they treated me, that we could be very fantastic people if only we can regard one another with high dignity, total decorum and respect. Racial prejudice never played at all in the Nihon Matsuri people were very open and free to one another and the gathering was one interactive social gathering. People from different races had wonderful intercourse, I could see the Indians talk to the white, I, a Korean had a chat with a black from Kenya who happened to be in the event.
I did notice any form of racial discrimination because in all the shows I attended; the audiences were characterized by diversity of races. I fall in the midpoint of the continuum system, which is referred to as cultural blindness. I have had the notion that despite the many colors and culture there are in the world races, we are one people, and lines should not be drawn. All people should be served with equal effectiveness. I among other people who belong to the lower levels of the continuum system should develop towards cultural competence.
To achieve this attitude, policies and practice change are necessary in order to become more flexible and culturally impartial. This event, which was arena for cultural show and artifacts, is related to the course content in that I was able to learn the culture, history and practices of the Utah community. The continuum concepts were displayed and event gave me an opportunity to see the application of all the levels of continuum process. From my interaction, I could determine the level the people and I interacted with belong in the continuum process.
I could not wait to hear the history of the beautiful community of Utah and the Salt Lake City, which enabled me, to understand the city and the people there even better. The history of the city and the community dates back to 1300 AD when the ancient Pueblo people also called the Anasazi built big communities in the Southern Utah. The Navajo Indians and the Ute from which the state takes its name arrived in the region later. The Mormons pioneers who were 148 in total, 2 children, 3 women and 143 men were the ones that founded the city in July 24, 1847.
The Mormons who were members of the Church of Jesus arrived in the region in an attempt to flee from persecution and were seeking a place where they could freely practice their religion. On their arrival, they began to till the land and plant crops. The city was named after a salty inland lake in the desert west to the region. At the time of arrival of the Mormons, the city was part of Mexico but a treaty signed in 1848 made it become the Utah territory in 1850. The city began to assume its present state in 1900s when the historic buildings and the state capitol was built.
The Utah community suffers from underemployment and low unemployment rate, which is about 3%. Another problem they experience is per-pupil expenditure is very low due to the overwhelming number of children. There are also very many single-parent families with very many working mothers. The community and the city also face crime related problems. Gang-related incidents are very many in the community causing security problems in the city. To have better life the community would like to have a safe environment, economic empowerment and proper education for their children. The culture of the Utah community is very rich, diverse and entertaining.
They had had discrimination before concerning their culture but of late, they have learnt that their culture and history is very rich and important and they are proud of what they are. To bridge cultural, racial and sexual gaps or misunderstandings is for people to change their attitudes and become less ethnocentric and biased. In addition, there should be policies in place to ensure more flexible and culturally impartial society; in addition, practices should become more congruent with culture. References Nihonmatsuri. org (2010). Nihon Matsuri. Retrieved May 5, 2010 from http://www. nihonmatsuri. org/center2. htm