North Texas Daily

Japanese student organization shares culture through spring festival

Japanese student organization shares culture through spring festival

April 14
08:46 2014

Tricia Sims // Intern Writer

Students can now learn about Japanese culture from international Japanese students’ annual Spring Festival.

“The Spring Festival is a tradition among the Japanese, like Thanksgiving is for us,” Director of Communications for UNT International Mary Beth Butler said. “It is something that our Japanese students really love to do to share their culture with us.”

Japanese Cultural Organization is hosting its sixth annual Japanese Spring Festival on April 15 at the Library Mall from 2 to 7 p.m. as part of UNT’s Global Citizens Month.

Students from the organization have worked all semester to come up with the activities at the festival, their biggest event each semester. There is a Japanese Fall Festival as well.

“We are hosting this event so that the students who are not familiar to Japan can get some knowledge, and they can experience the culture on campus,” said Kaori Makino, president of the Japanese Culture Organization and international studies sophomore.

At the festival students can partcipate in a variety of things, including origami, Japanese calligraphy in which students can have their name written in calligraphy, and an anima-style sketch artist.

Japanese Culture Organization and Anime Club booths will be bet up, so students can receive more information about the groups.

Japanese dancing, singing and comedy performances will take place from 5 to 7 p.m.

“It is really meant as a come and go type of thing,” Butler said. “We have games people can play or food people can try. We know that people are on their way to class, and maybe they could just stop by and take a look and then come back after 5 p.m. and see the performances.

The plan for the event is ‘rain or shine’, but if it gets too rainy everyone will pack up and go home because there is not much additional space on campus to have a rain location, Butler said.

About three years ago, the Division of Institutional Equity and Diversity, Office of Sustainability and UNT International decided to pull their activities together to share audiences and maximize the resources to create Global Citizens Month.

“There was just so much for people to do that it could not be a week anymore, it had to be a month,” Butler said. “This way it kind of puts things together, all three of us work together and we get to celebrate each other outstanding students and programs. It is just a really nice partnership.”

The goal is to bring together students from various backgrounds and help them bond.

“It is really easy to sit in class next to someone, either an international student or someone from Houston, and not get to know them,” Butler said. “This is an opportunity to get to know people from all over the world.”

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