Each semester, six Common Meals are held at HdB. Six residents, each with another resident as a helper, cook a dish, and we all gather in the lobby towards 18:30 to have a pleasant dinner together. The quality of the dishes is usually very high!
Steamed Pork and Glutious Rice Dumpling, Chinese Style
Although residents go and eat out together all the time, Common Meals are always a fun experience as people in the house can all gather together in the lobby on a Friday night and enjoy the atmosphere.
Residents who aren’t really acquainted can get to know each other, and after cleaning/washing up and the obligatory house meeting (discussing future events, housekeeping notices, and various house-related matters), we are all free to chat, drink and play games etc. It’s always nice to meet new people, and residents are able to invite a friend or two each time from outside the house.
The Kyoto International Student House is approaching 50 years since its inception, and I hear that this Common Meal has been a traditional event since the very early days. Residents from different countries, religions and cultures would come together for these meals, and learn more about each other and their backgrounds. Nowadays it’s more of a casual event, but it hasn’t lost its power in making new connections between people, and providing an enjoyable night for everyone at the end of a week.