The Welcome Party took place on Saturday, April 9th, but the preparation for it began long before. This term HdB has new House Parents moving in, so the team met with them in March to plan for its organization. An invitation letter was made for all new residents and scholars, inviting them to join the 花見 (Sakura-seeing) on Tuesday April 5th and the Welcome Party. Because the new House Parents don’t have a car, cooks have to buy some of the ingredients on their own. All the ingredients arrived on Friday, so some of the team members and residents started cooking from the evening until 2am, and others made their dishes from Saturday morning. It was very tiring to be in the kitchen for more than 4 hours, making food enough for 60 people, but because there were so many of us it was actually quite amusing at the same time.
So the party itself turned out nicely. There were 17 dishes on the table, which was more than enough for all the guests. Committee members felt welcomed, new and old residents and scholars got to talk to each other, and everybody gathered together to watch the video, which created loads of laughter. The positive reactions from people made all the hard-work during preparation pretty worthwhile, and the chairperson and team members are very grateful for the help they had from the residents.
Below is the speech from the new chairperson, a Taiwanese Canadian studying for her Master’s in Cultural Psychology at Kyoto University. It was later commented by a member of HdB committee as one of the best welcoming speech he has heard:
Good evening everyone. My name is Soraya, and I’m the chairperson for the spring 2016 semester. This year, we have new residents, new scholars, and also new House Parents with a House Kid living with us! On behalf of the team, I would like to give you a warm welcome to HdB.
As you may already be aware of, HdB has many rules, events and duties, which can sometimes seem quite a lot to people at first. But I want to ensure you that HdB is not just about the rules and the duties. What’s more important, is the connection you will share with other people. You will make friends through these activities that you plan together. You will encounter people from different cultures. You will share experiences, create laughable memories together. It’s about being part of a family.
As members of the team, our job is to provide a platform for you to connect. We have an official event once every 2 weeks, and we encourage any unofficial events in between. If there is something you would like to do, such as a movie night, games night, study group, running group, or just want to have a party, you are more than welcome to propose it in the Facebook or Line group, or talk to us if you would like us to do it for you. On the other hand, if there’s anything bothering you, whether related to HdB or not, please don’t hesitate to let us know. Your well-being is our priority, and communication is the key. If my Japanese is not good enough, the rest of the team members speak fluent Japanese and English, so please feel free to share your opinion and communicate with us.
Special thanks to the many people who helped made this Welcome Party possible. Some of our residents: Sam, Ellen, Oppa and Gauhara have volunteered to cook, and our House Parents and HdB staff, Higuchi San, also helped the team prepare some wonderful dishes. Jennifer has made a video to introduce you to life in HdB, which we will see later. We hope you enjoy the party, and will enjoy the rest of your stay here. Thank you!”
And below is the link to the video that made everyone laugh:
Join HdB next term and become part of our family!