Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake

I ended my fifth period class ten minutes early today for a cake party. The ten students at Kawasaki elementary school were ushered into the lunch room. A cake was pulled out of a box. The students and staff applauded. The finest plates and forks were distributed as the students lined up according to grade level to wash their hands. Tea was poured, the cake was cut, passed out, and everyone took their seat. The oldest male student at the school then stood in front of the room to formally thank the teacher who had brought the cake. He finished his speech and bowed. Everyone then put their hands together and recited "itadakimaus," a phrase that is said before partaking in the consumption of food in Japan.

As we ate the cake I asked the students about their favorite part of the cake. Most students said they liked the whipped cream the most. I liked the hard chocolate in the middle. The six year old boy sitting next to me told me his favorite part was the "sponge." We all agreed that the strawberries were sweet.

Everyone finished the cake, nodding in agreement that it was supremely delicious. My sixth period class then started fifteen minutes late.

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