Spent today at International Day in Matsumoto. I have a big problem with these events in general. Tokenism, Stereotyping, National Costumes, The same old questions, the same old answers and then finish up standing in a circle holding hands and singing 'It's a small world'. Really. Been there. Done that.
My idea of a great International Day event would be everyone sitting around in jeans and t-shirts talking about their favourite movies, songs, books, places in the city where they live, just basically finding common ground.
Anyway, as you can see from the poster today was more of the former than the latter. Look at all those smiling people in national costume. I was pleased to see they have a Japanese girl in a kimono there, though. Hopefully for the citizens of Matsumoto remembering how often they wear kimono will put the other costumes in perspective.
I was there with my boss manning the Great American Hotdog Challenge. This was very generous on my part. Not the giving up my Sunday to schlepp it at International Day but putting my endeavours to be recognised as an Australian back at least a couple of years!
By all accounts it was wildly successful. I say by all accounts as I didn't leave the hotdog room all day. We had people play in pairs with one person on a mike and the other blindfolded. Mike person had to guide blindfolded person through a maze in 60 seconds. Mike person had to do all this in English. It was a riot and everyone was having a great time. I helped so many little little kids tell their parents where to go (politely of course!) It was so cute seeing kids eyes go all wide with wonder when they heard their amplified voices.
K brought Meg and Amy in to check it out and they tried out the pinata (just like our birthday only they had lots more candy) pearl tea (the jelly [tapioca]was yummy but the juice [sweetened tea] we gave to daddy) and the hotdog challenge (why couldn't we stay with you mummy? How many hotdogs did you eat? You were there all day!)
I met lots of interesting people and had a good time. I came home exhausted, hot and sweaty. I had fun, I'm glad I went and best of all there was no 'It's a small world' at all!