Monday, June 14, 2010

japanese tea ceremony

this saturday i had the chance to take part in an authentic tea ceremony - courtesy of my friend heidi - who invited me to be her official guest. now i thought that meant i could hide out in the back and observe the goings-on from afar, but lo and behold, they called me up to participate in actually receiving the tea.

it's actually quite fascinating to see this cherished japanese ceremony up close. to ensure that the guest's cup of tea is the best they will ever receive, there are customs for everything - everything from how one enters the tea room, which step you take when entering/leaving, how to sit, how to hold, raise and rotate the cup (chawan), etc. and that's just for the guest! let's just say i was mesmerized watching her prepare my cup with such discipline and precision. because i typically avoid caffeine, i requested 'weak' tea instead of strong, which caused an uproar in class as i instantly became the laughingstock. the sensei even cried out "wimp!" in disdain...

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