SPRINGFIELD — Ava Borskey, 10, said she was hoping to learn more about the Japanese culture Wednesday during the Japanese culture and craft event at the Albany Springfield branch of the Livingston Parish Library.
As Asayo Dvorak, of Holden, guided a discussion on Japanese culture, she asked about a dozen youths what they knew about Japan.
“I know that sushi is popular,” said Morgan LeBlanc, 10.
Dvorak, a native of Japan, teaches Japanese and frequently visits libraries, schools and retirement homes to help Americans learn more about her culture. She also plays Japanese music and performs Japanese dance.
During her presentation, Dvorak showed students a map of her hometown, talked about her experiences growing up in Japan, played games with the children and showed them a kimono from her youth and origami she had created.
Dvorak also showed them a Japanese method of calculating mathematic equations, which stumped the children and their parents.
Sharon Coats brought her grandson, Michael Hutchinson, 8, to the presentation because “he loves Japanese things,” she said.
“He thinks that’s cool,” Coats said about the Japanese culture. “He always pretending that he speaks Japanese.”
Following the presentation, participants created traditional Japanese fish kites.
“I learned that they make some things out of rubber bands,” LeBlanc said as she talked about a game Japanese children play. The game involves strands of rubber bands tied together.
Two people hold the ends of each of the strands to create an obstacle.
Children try to make their way through the pattern without touching the bands.
Morgan Gremillion, 11, gingerly crawled beneath the string of rubber bands so as not to touch them, as other participants plotted their next move while playing the game.
“I learned that they had to wear so much stuff,” LeBlanc said of the kimono. “They have a lot of pieces to the dress.”
All of the youth, ages 8 to 11, admitted follwing the presentation they learned more about Japan.
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