Teatime

By By Parker Williams

By Parker Williams

According to a Japanese proverb, “If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”

As one of the final events of International Week, students from several countries hosted “International Tea Rooms” in the Union on Friday.

Teas and snacks from Japan, China, Iran, England and India were available free of charge in an effort to familiarize students with various cultures.

“It’s really a great opportunity to feel like you’re actually going into the home of somebody,” said Anjali Hammond, International Center coordinator. “You can ask them about their culture and learn more about the way people interact with each other.”

Nobunari Isono, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, volunteered to share his Japanese culture. “In the U.S., we drink Coke and Pepsi; in Japan, we drink tea,” Isono said.

Traditional artwork, clothing and furniture were also on display as part of the event. Most of the items came from the personal collections of students. Several items on display in the Japanese room came from the collection of University of Utah President Michael K. Young, who lived in Japan for several years.

President Young said the event was “wonderful.”

“It’s really representative of the type of experience our students can have here,” he said. “Not only do the foreign students have a terrific experience, but our American students have classes and become friends with (international students), and that’s really powerful and a terrific educational opportunity.”

Many students did not know the event was planned but were attracted to it when walking through the Union.

“The music in the background and everything going on makes for a really fun atmosphere,” said Student Body Vice President Toby Collet.

Dheerajvalkya Gadicherla, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, said one of the most popular snack items offered on Friday was an Indian sweet called gulab jamun. He laughed when one person sampling the snack described it as being similar to a doughnut. MaryAnne Smith, office manager for Student Recruitment and High School Services, described the snack as “all the good things you remember in life rolled into a little ball.”

Tyler Cobb

Erika Thompson, a graduate assistant, learns about the art on a Japanese tea cup from Koji Oida, an exchange officer who is doing an internship with the International Center, during International Tea Rooms in the Union on Friday.