Contributed by David Coyne, Secretary of CARP NJIT
On Monday April 10th, the NJIT CARP Chapter organized a Japanese Cultural Festival that was held in the NJIT Campus Center Ballroom A. The purpose of this event was to offer an opportunity for all students to learn a little bit about Japanese culture through various foods, games, and art.
The chapter had been planning this event meticulously for the past two months and received funding for all activities from the school. Thus, all food and entertainment was provided free of charge. As a result, the event garnished significant interest all throughout the campus, with over 200 students participating in activities throughout the entirety of the event.
The main attraction of the event was the various Japanese dishes and refreshments that were provided; edamame, Japanese curry, sushi, and green tea ice cream amongst others. All the food was prepared by the Japanese adults within CARP community, thus, ensuring the cultural authenticity of the meals.
Additionally, the festival itself hosted a wide range of different activities that kept students engaged for hours. The activities featured during the event were: Origami, Calligraphy, Self Portraits, Anime/Manga, a Photo Booth, Kendama, and Palm Reading.
Each of these booths were run by volunteers from the community. What appealed most to the attendees was just how engaging and unique all the activities were. This festival was not merely a showcasing of Japan, but an opportunity to truly experience different facets of the culture itself.
This was done by providing step by step examples of how to create different objects at the origami booth, teaching people drawing techniques used in anime, providing kimonos to dress in for photos, writing students names in traditional calligraphy, and much more.
The two most popular booths that had people lined up until the end were Palm Reading, and the Self-Portrait booth. One unique aspect of the Palm Reading booth was that the Palm Reader would speak Japanese, while another volunteer would translate the fortunes into English. The Japanese Self Portrait booth was just as unique, as each drawing was in a Japanese animated style.
The large interest in the event on Monday allowed the NJIT CARP Chapter to establish a greater presence on campus. Throughout the event, greeters were stationed at the front doors, providing flyers with the CARP Core Principles to spread information about the club.
In addition, throughout the event at least one core member of the NJIT CARP Club was stationed at the registration desk to provide any additional information about CARP to the attendees.
Palm Reading Booth
Japanese Self Portrait/Anime Booth