A few months back, I brought a small group of about 4 people, including a good friend of mine named Takeshi, to a very fun Japanese cultural language exchange and food barbecue event organized by an organization called the SCETA Japan Center.
The SCETA Japan center is located on my college’s College Park campus. I graduated from The University of Maryland University College (UMUC). I only went onto the College Park campus a few times for tests, and though I knew that UMUC had a Japanese language program (since I took one semester in Japanese there), I did not know that the SCETA Japan Center was there on campus. If I had known about it before graduation, I would have come onto campus much more often 😁.
The SCETA Japan Center has conversational Japanese language and practice classes 📚, as well as events 🎊. I attended their Japanese barbecue event, but just recently, they had their summer classes for kids.
The host of the SCETA Japan Center, Chika-san, organized the event, and it was a full on Japanese style setting. There was a modern version of a genkan 玄関 (Japanese entrance way where you leave your shoes).
The rooms were decorated in a traditional Japanese style with wooden beams, sliding closet doors, small rooms, paper shoji 所持, and a large table in the center where you sit on cushions.
There was Japanese writing and goods on the walls, including anime アニメfigurines of some of the most famous and popular anime characters, including Studio Ghibli’s Totoro となりのトトロ, Sailor Moon 美少女戦士セーラームーン, Hello Kitty キティ ホワイト, Naruto ナルト, Dragon Ball Z ドラゴンボール Z ゼット, Kumamon くまモン, and Keroppi, along with the infamous Maneki Neko 招き猫 🐱.
My favorite room had a huge blow up Hello Kitty seat and a big pillow that looked like a chocolate donut with sprinkles! they were so adorable! I loved them so much that I chose to eat in this room☺.
There were all kinds of homecooked foods 家庭料理 and Japanese dishes日本料理 at the event, including sushi 寿司 🍣, noodle dishes 麺 🍜, tamagoyaki 卵焼き (fried egg), inari sushi 稲荷, Japanese candies キャンディー, and more.
There were a lot of American foods アメリカ料理 at the barbecue as well. There were beef 🐮 meat hamburger patties ハンバーガーパティ cooked on a grill/barbecued, as well as salad サラダ, corn 玉蜀黍🌽, bread パン 🍞, beer ビール 🍺, and wine ウェイン🍷.
This event was a lot of fun and it had a good mix of people. There were Japanese 日本人 people there. Families brought their babies🚼 and children 子供達 👶. There were many African Americans 黒人 there, people mixed with Japanese, and Caucasians 白人 of various ages.
I loved being able to meet and talk with people who travel a lot as well. I had long conversations with people who have traveled to numerous countries. They taught me so much about travel, eating abroad, safety, and dangerous stories and personal encounters they had heard about or personally experienced abroad; they even gave me travel advice and explained visas and passports to me for if I decide to travel to Korea 韓国 ㉿, Istanbul イスタンブール, or England イングランド 🏰 someday.
The SCETA BBQ was one of the most fun events that I attended this year so far, so I can’t wait to attend another one of their events in the future!