Elementary School Lunch: 03/03 - Okurukai (A Japanese Send-off)

Food, JapanKristina PinoComment

Today, we had two big things going on. First, it's hina-matsuri, or doll festival, a.k.a. girls festival. We celebrated that through food, which I'll get into in a minute. The other event today was our okurukai, or sending-off ceremony, for the graduating 6th graders. During this ceremony, the underclassmen give the 6th graders gifts, thanking them for looking out for them as the oldest kids in the school, and wishing them well as they move up to middle school. There were also a few performances, including a song sung by all the teachers.

It's a sweet thing, and to seal things even further, the 6th graders in their turn present the 5th graders, who in a few short weeks will be the oldest, with the student flags, club and committee records, and other duties that are normally assigned to the 6th graders. This exchange of responsibilities kind of funny to watch, because the 5th graders who are being given them have literally no clue what to do (they all wandered into the staff room after the ceremony asking where to put the records/flags/etc). They'll learn.

Alright, time to talk about lunch. Since it's girls festival, we had some traditional dishes that celebrate this day: chirashi-zushi, which is a bowl of sushi rice with colorful toppings, some soup, and sakura mochi. Since I went to the viking lunch today, my tray started out looking like the image above, with extras like heart-shaped omelets, meatballs, fries, and Caesar salad. The other nice thing about viking lunch is I get to drink OJ. There were other things in the buffet: jumbo shrimp tempura, fried chicken, yogurt drinks, and a whole mess of other desserts like roll cakes and fresh fruit. It was a super satisfying lunch, to say the least.

At the viking lunch, I was presented with flowers (some Persian buttercups) as well as a small potted cactus inside a hand-made (and personalized) flower pot, which I think is the sweetest thing. I'll have some pictures of those up on Instagram soon.

I don't have a calorie count for today, and frankly I'm afraid to know what mine would be if I went through the trouble of calculating. See you tomorrow!