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Japanese Girls Day marked with elegant tea ceremony


On Thursday 23 February 2012, the Embassy of Japan hosted the annual Japanese Girls Day Celebration with a special demonstration of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony.  

Opening the event at his Residence, Japanese Ambassador H.E. Mr. Hiroyuki Kishino said that in Japan, Girls Day is celebrated on March the 3rd to pray for the healthy growth and happiness of girls. He further explained that it is celebrated by families with their daughters and friends by displaying a set of Hina Dolls, which represent the old imperial court, composed of the Emperor and the Empress, their attendants and musicians, which existed in the Heian era (794-1192 A.D.).  

On the occasion of the celebration, Mrs. Yukiko Kobayashi, a practitioner of the tea ceremony for more than 15 years and other spouses of the Embassy demonstrated the intricacies of tea ceremony.

Upon receiving the tea served by Mrs. Kobayashi, H.E. Ambassador Kishino reflected that to experience the Japanese tea ceremony is to experience an integral part of Japanese culture and spirit that embraces art, elegance, Zen, hospitality and tradition.

“Our tea ceremony is similar to the Ethiopian coffee ceremony, as both ceremonies use special instruments and observe specific procedures, and these constitute important parts of our cultures”, Ambassador Kishino said.

The Minister for Women, Children and Youth Affairs, H.E. Wzo. Zenebu Tadesse, who was the Guest of Honour of this year’s Girls Day, said the people of Ethiopia and Japan share close and colourful cultures such as humbleness, the similarity of coffee and tea ceremonies, and music as well as the celebration of Girls Day in Japan and Ashanda and other girls’ festivals in Ethiopia.   

“The Japanese Girls Day celebration not only opened a door for Ethiopian and Japanese girls and women to acquaint themselves with each other’s value, share experiences, foster relations and seek solutions to common problems but also promoted the idea of liberation as most women are not yet completely freed from social, economic and political handcuffs”, H.E. Minister Zenebu underlined.

She also drew attention to her government’s significant effort to improve the participation of women in the country’s socio-economic and political arena.

Minister Zenebu further expressed her desire to broaden the scope of existing bilateral ties to incorporate programs that bring girls and women of the two sisterly countries closer.  

This year’s Girls Day Celebration was attended by a representative of the Ministry of Mines, high government officials, female Ambassadors and Spouses of Ambassadors residing in Addis Ababa, members of the diplomatic corps, the Japan Ethiopia Alumni members and the media.

The same day, in the morning, the Embassy held a special Girls Day program in order to thank the students who sent encouraging letters, paintings, drawings and cards following the sad demise of many in the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. The students were drawn from Durasella School, Greek Community School, One Planet School, New Grand School and Ethio-Turkish International School.   

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