Japanese club shares traditional art forms for International Education Week
November 22, 2010 by Sarah Casimong
Dressed in traditional kimonos, members of Nihon Kwantlen Kurabu, otherwise known as Kwantlen’s Japanese Club, participated in International Education Week, with tables dedicated to Japanese calligraphy and origami, on Nov. 18.
Jassneal Dass, the Japanese club’s intercampus liaison, joined Nina Ramsay and other Japanese club students in creating origami.
“Personally, I’ve always had interest for [Japanese culture],” Dass said. “It started with video games first. Then anime on TV. Then I started learning more about the culture and it just became more interesting.
“I always wanted to learn the language because we didn’t have Japanese in high school. I was in French immersion so I was forced to learn French and I hated it. “
“[My Japanese] is pretty good,” Dass said. “I think I speak Japanese better than I speak Hindi, which is a good thing. I’ve been studying for three years. Some of my friends have been studying for seven years. They’re so much better than me.”
Dass admitted that Japanese calligraphy was challenging at first, but after writing out the characters hundreds of times, he has mastered the art.
He still, however, has yet to ace origami. The traditional Japanese art of paper folding is a traditional art form that dates back to the 17th century, according to House of Japan.
“I’m pretty terrible with art, so I’m not that great,” Dass admitted. “This is one of the first times I’m doing it. I’ve done it a few times in high school and elementary but I can’t even fold the paper correctly. I still need more practice on this.”
“I’ve always been interested in Japanese culture and when I got into university I was like, ‘Oh, there’s a Japanese class. Heck yes, I’m there,’” said Breena Kaye, who demonstrated calligraphy at the Japan table. “It’s actually a lot of fun.”
She encourages people who are interested in Japanese culture to take a Japanese language class at Kwantlen.
“You live and breathe Japanese for a semester,” Kaye said. “You get to learn something different instead of sitting in a classroom getting to learn people talk for an hour and a half. You get to really interact with your teacher, you get to interact with each other and it’s a really good way to learn.”
The Japanese Club meets at both the Surrey and Richmond campuses. It delves into Japanese culture, anime and manga, as well as Japanese history and cuisine.
Meeting are held in Richmond on Tuesdays at 1 p.m. in room 1815 and in Surrey on Thursdays at 1 p.m. in room D326, Fir building.
For more information, visit the Japanese club’s Facebook page.