Last week I didn't come to the cafe because of the sports day at the junior high school, so it was good to return today. We had a great time and of course we learned about some American culture things but I also learned some interesting things about Japanese culture. Surprisingly, our Japanese guests also learned some new things about Japanese culture!
Specifically, I wanted to know about "banzai!". In my high school Japanese class, my teacher who was American, taught us that Japanese always yell "banzai!" three times on Friday mornings to celebrate the end of the work week. Of course, I know this isn't true now, but I wanted to ask about the true "banzai" custom. We discovered that there are two ways to do banzai, one is with palms facing forward, and the other way is to face palms toward eachother. We couldn't find out when or why this first started, but it seems like it was more popular during the 70's and 80's. If you know anything about it, please let us know! I think it's very interesting.
Our conversation also progressed to coffee in Japan and America, and eventually we were talking about milk. Chocolate milk seems to be popular in both countries, but did you know that in U.S. supermarkets, you can by a gallon of pre-made chocolate milk or even strawberry milk? I tried the strawberry milk but it wasn't for me. It was too sweet and some strange taste to it.
Here are some of the words that we learned in today's conversations:
lullaby: A lullaby is a song that an adult sings to their child to help them fall asleep. Some like to make original lullabies for their kids. Do you sing them to your kids or grandkids?
up tight: This word describes the attitude or behavior of a person or an atmosphere. It usually describes a nervous or stressed feeling; like difficult to relax. Ex: "I was really uptight during my presentation, so it didn't go very well..."
decaf: Decaf is short for "decaffeinated" coffee (coffee with no caffeine). If you go to a coffee shop or cafe in the U.S., you can order "a decaf OO" if it's close to bedtime, or you want to avoid caffeine for some reason. I usually drink coffee to help wake me up, so I never order decaf!
See you next time!