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Event Album: Experience Asian Tradition - Tea Ceremonies: 10/09/2016
Event Note

 Today, we find tea time everywhere in the world. Enjoying tea takes many different forms, and customs. Throughout the year, MHJCA offers traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony to local Mid-Hudson Valley communities.
Yet, you may not realize, the tea plant was imported as medicine to Japan from China many centuries ago, then she developed tea product, Macha, unique powdered tea essential to Japanese tea ceremony.
To understand various forms of the culture, we sought how people appreciate tea culture in different parts of Asia.
One year ago, MHJCA had an opportunity to apply for a grant offered by the Arts Mid-Hudson as a 2016 Decentralization Program. We thought experiencing those Asian tea cultures with our local community was well suited to the purpose of the grant. Pleasingly, MHJCA was awarded the grant and the application became our first successful solo grant. (In the past, MHJCA participated with a Holy Trinity School Education grant successfully.)
Fortunately, MHJCA met two local practitioners who are familiar with Chinese tea.
Mrs. Smith, who is a Tai Chi instructor and now a MHJCA family member, was from Guangxi region of China, and could offer Guangxi Oil Tea. Another friend, Ms. Wiley, from Thailand, who
used live at a tea plantation in Taiwan, could offer light Chinese tea. And with our regular MHJCA Tea Ceremony hosts could offer Japanese tea with table setting instead of Tatami floor.
Guangxi Oil tea is served in the southern part of China as part of breakfast; or at occasions when people welcome guests. Tea leaves are cooked with vegetables and olive oil. Guests are served with steamed dumpling and nuts, followed by sweet desserts. It resembles Japanese CHAJI - full meal tea ceremony.
Chinese light tea can be white, black, or brown, and served in a tiny cup along with sweets.
Traditional Japanese Macha tea is served to guests sitting on Tatami floor or mat. This is found to be a bit uncomfortable to both guests and the host accustomed to contemporary life style. A new style of serving using table and chairs has been introduced recently by Japanese Tea School, URASENKE, in Kyoto. The new style suits well here.
Thus, a team of MHJCA and friends started preparation in the early Spring of 2016, and repeated rehearsals at our homes. Several meetings and advertisement plans were developed by the team.
Thanks to the Gardiner Library's assistance, we could secure the event location and we advertised through local newspapers, thanks to
the library manager, Ms. Nichole Lane.

On the event day, October 9, 2016, twelve volunteers gathered an hour before the opening and quickly set up the complex layouts and cooked several foods. A total of 23 registered quests arrived on time and stayed for all three tea servings. Some guests were well connected with Asian tea culture and gave us serious questions. Our hosts were all equally well prepared to give them answers.
The event was successfully concluded on time. Later, MHJCA completed the full event report to the Arts Mid-Hudson in order to meet the grant requirement.
Thank you for all the volunteers and serving hosts. I am sure this event will expand to many other local cross culture events.
"This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a re-grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of
Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and administered by Arts Mid-Hudson".
Reported by Masashi Miyake, 2016 MHJCA Grant project coordinator.
 東洋茶文化の体験、 と称して、去る10月9日ガーディナーの図書館でMHJCAのイベントがありました。 お茶と言えば、今では世界中で様々な形式、文化で楽しまれているものですが、ここミッドハドソンバレー地域でも、MHJCAも会員の多大な協力により一年を通し日本のお茶の文化を紹介しています。 日本では8世紀に茶は薬として中国から取り入れられたと記されていますが、抹茶のように独特な茶道となるには日本国内での長い歴史があります。MHJCAでは中国から日本への遍路を探る試みの企画を考えてみました。2015年秋にArts Mid-HudsonよりUlster Countyの各アートプロ、団体に向け公募され、MHJCA独自では初のDecentralization Program Grantに応募し、2016年春に受け取られました。。 幸い、MHJCAで親しく連絡のあるSmith夫人とWiley女史の協力、指導で中国南部のグアンシ地区で伝統の油茶と台湾でもよく楽しまれている、茶(白、茶、黒の3種)を日本の薄茶を立礼式でUlsterの方々に体験してもらう企画で、去る5月から検討、リハーサル、プロモーション、グラント予算と費用とのバランス,等々8名近くのメンバーで着実に作業をしてきました。ガーディナー図書館のLane女史の過大なサポートのお陰で新聞を通し参加者をつのっていただき、当日前までに、23名の体験希望者がきまりました。イベント当日には12名のMHJCAボランティア、ポーキプシから協力に駆けつけてくださった、Smith女史のご主人、友人のSoyal Smalls さんの協力を得、お湯、食事、デザートの準備万端スムースに運ぶことができました。参加者は3種のお茶の体験を2時間にわたり、質問に、話題に富む思い出のある半日となり、この先アジア各国からここに在米されている人々と共に文化交流の企画を考えることにもなると思いました。又グラントプロセスを学ぶ良い機会になりました。 ちなみに、このグラントはクオモ州知事、州議会のサポートにより、ニューヨーク州アートカウンシルからの再グラントとして、Arts Mid-Hudsonから授与されました。 三宅 正嗣、2016年MHJCA グラントプロジェクト担当 
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