Once a year, we at Tokyo Christian University put on our own 文化祭 – a cultural festival called Zion Festival! This festival draws in and attracts guests from all parts of Japan, and it is a great opportunity to interact with and open our community to both Christians and non-Christians alike. We hold this festival open to the public in October on Japan’s 体育の日 – a Japanese holiday that is always on Monday and pays homage to physical education. It was almost rained out and we had a typhoon roll in over the weekend, but the Lord was merciful and we only had some light rain on and off during the main festival day. 

This year was the 30th year in a row of TCU’s Zion festival, and the theme of this year was “Step!”

Don’t ask me why, I honestly don’t know. But anyway lets peep some of the events that transpired!

MC Riki announcing for the culture parade

Every year the international students have a unique opportunity to showcase the different countries and cultures represented in our unique and diverse community through the Culture Parade! In addition to showing off our culture to different peoples in Japan, this opportunity is also a great way for us international students to express ourselves and elements of our home cultures to each other.

Behold, the dresses…

So it’s hard to identify who is who but we have 

Top row from left to right: Katherine, Aika, Ru, Sta, Kevin

Second row: Micki, Karuna, Riki, Tyler

Third row: Chiemi, Laura, Radika, Bianca

I’m pretty sure each of them is representing a different culture, so add that up…five…nine…thirteen cultures represented!

Amazing.

Let’s see if we can top number that next year! :O

India, represent

As always the Acts-es program ran and operated a food booth. In the past we have done parfait, taco rice, and our most famous Indian curry. The curry is always such a hit that we end up selling that most years, including this one! Kadama (pictured above) went HAM in the kitchen overseeing the construction of a big ol’ pot of that GENUINE AUTHENTIC INDIAN curry with rice. We opened the booth at 10 along with everyone else and we sold out by 12:30! 

You are watching a master at work

Everyone pitched in to help set up, make the curry, package and sell it. It was an ultimate team effort that blessed the festival with a delicious feast from the south east. I ate some. It was delicious.  

After lunchtime (and we had sold out of our curry), some of us international students had been permitted and scheduled to perform a few musical numbers in the Chapel. We rehearsed for this for several weeks, and it went over as a total success! 

Piyush is invisible but Bianca’s charisma makes up for it

It was only two songs: Hymn for the Weekend and Uptown Funk. However we had so much fun performing, and the visitors and guests really enjoyed it as well! It was the first time for us international students to be able to showcase our talents like this to the community at Zion festival. We were very grateful for the opportunity from the school, and hope that we will be able to continue making performances like these in the years to come! 

They had the main concert event after that, but that pretty much wraps up Zion festival 2019 for our international community. TCU’s Zion festival is a fantastic opportunity for us international students to set aside being worried about classes, homework and part time jobs for a little bit, and focus instead on managing and organizing projects and working together as a cohesive yet diverse community for Zion festival. It takes a lot of careful calculation, partly because we are working on a budget for some of it, but the Lord has his hand over us in all that we do. The preparation that goes into what our community provides to the University’s festival takes weeks, sometimes months, to plan and organize, and can be quite a burden to the leaders, but it is for sure rewarding. We are blessed with the chance to demonstrate our various cultures represented in our community through music, fashion, food, etc. to the Christians and non-Christians in Japan. 

That’s a wrap!

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