I'm afraid I have been too busy to write lately. Two weeks ago my school held our sports festival (Taiksai) and our school festival (Bunkasai). You may have heard of these before as they are events often featured in Japanese dramas, TV, and anime. They are an integral part of school life in Japan.
My school takes both of these events very seriously. The Bunkasai was an extravagana held over Sunday and Monday. For these two days, Parents, Grandparents, students from all of Nagoya, and other visitors swarmed the halls of our highschool.There were so many people that navigating the wide hallways became rather challenging. Everyone packed themselves into the brightly decorated classrooms to observe the handywork that we had slaved over for so long.
Our classrooms had been transformed from the ordinary to a cardboard walled maze with posters plastered everywhere, bearing information on themed topics. My class had choosen the theme "Gamble". Our room became a maze of gambling parafanilia and addiction information.
The first day dawned rather rainy. Many of the elaborate outdoor decorations had to be taken down in an attempt to save them. Rainbow colored banners had been hung hign above the courtyard and even the staircases had been decorated. The main staircase outside had colorpaper stuck to the inside edge of each stair so that when looked upon from a distance it showed our school's insignia in a colored rainbow.
On the big stage in the courtyard, students preformed various routines much to the audiances great delight. Bands played traditional Japanese music as me as today's trendiest hits. Dance groups captivated the public with amuzing or complicated routines. Whole school clubs preformed their craft in complicated showcases. There were even displays of Ikebana (traditional flower arrangements) and Shoudo (calligraphy).
Many class rooms sold food to the visitors. Theses food stalls were a big hit. Long lines of people stated assembling even before they opened for bussiness. Delicasies like "Kuraage" (fried chicken), "Curry rice", Takiyaki", and "Ramen" were sold at extremely cheap prices. Girls stood at the back of each line with advertising signs. They would often jump up and down, shouting, and wildly waiving their signs to coax hungry people in their lines.
I can't possibly discribe the atmosphere. There was excitement and and competition all bound together with delicious food. Smiles were plastered on the students faces as they wove through the crowd.
After the two days ended, we all filled into the big gymnasium to hear the results of the competition. The teachers had gone through all of the classrooms and voted for the best ones. Each winner was revieled by a scroll casted out of a window on the far wall. As each scroll unraveled, a great roar would come over the student body. The sound of cheers, screaming, and clapping filled the air. Something else was reavieled at this moment, but only to me. I came to realize how important this day was to them. A good portion of the gym was in tears. Whether in sadness or triumph, the tears streamed downwards. To me, this was a fun, cultural event with delecable food. But to them, it was so much more. It's one last day to have fun before exams. It's also a day to bond with classmates, show off your school, and have a study break. So much time and energy went into organizing, and creating every aspect of the school festival. Every heart desired to win.
My class did not win any rewards or certificates, but we had fun anyways. My homeroom/English teacher treated us all to popsicles and sugary drinks. It was surely a day we will always remember.