This is Chipa Mwenya, half Zambian and half Japanese bilingual staff at Sakura House.
It’s getting hotter in Tokyo and more sunny days are appearing than rainy days, meaning that there are different kinds of events happening all over Tokyo.
Since I am from Africa, I would like to share my recent experience at the African festival in Hibiya Park called the “Ima no Africa” which basically means Africa of Now.
I was particularly interested in this event because, in the previous years, each time you had a African event, there was more emphasis put on the performance and art culture of Africa and not on the food culture. But this time, food was also a big part of this event!
Another interesting part of African events in Japan are that many African countries participate and show the unique cultures they have. Because, to be honest, a lot of people that think that, regardless of the country in Africa, we all have the same culture (this is a huge misunderstanding).
It was also a wonderful experience for me because, even though I have lived in Africa for 18 years, there are still a vast number of areas that I do not know about Africa. Gaining such new knowledge will not only be beneficial to me but will also help me share our culture to the guests that visit Sakura House.
During the event I came across a Kenya Maasai! Do you know what a “Maasai” (on the left with a red robe) is ?
A Maasai is a unique and popular tribe due to their long preserved culture. The Maasai people of East Africa live in southern Kenya and northern Tanzania along the Great Rift Valley on semi-arid and arid lands.
The clothing that the Maasai have changes by age and location. Young men, for instance, wear black for several months. However, red is a favored colour and is worn to scare away lions!
Blue, black, striped, and checkered cloth are also worn, as are multicolored African designs. This was actually my first time to meet a Kenyan Maasai!
Hibiya park is one of the main locations that hold the African event but you also come across many events or gatherings during the course of the year.