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The Workshop, conducted by three Japanese origami experts, Makato Yamaguchi, Eiko Matsuura and Miyuki Kawamura, started a little late without incident. The hall was packed. I estimate there were about fifty participants in all. Most of the participants were school children led by their teachers. I felt like an odd one out. Anyway, we were each given a pack of standard size (15cm X 15cm) origami paper and given step by step instructions on how to fold them. Verbal instructions were in Japanese but there was a translator who tried her best, though not very successfully, to translate into Malay.
Origami is a very popular Japanese paper craft; and one of the reasons is because it is something that could be done alone. You know how busy Japanese people are, it’s not easy to look for an activity partner. Also, origami is said to be a good therapy for stress, though to me, it makes me more stressed out trying to figure out how to fold something. Actually, folding is not difficult. The difficult part is REMEMBERING how to fold the same figure again. You know the origami that I learnt at the Workshop? I don’t remember the steps anymore.
The Workshop went at an extremely slow pace even though we were only taught the basics. There were primary school children there who found it quite difficult to follow. We were told to look at the projector screen first before starting to fold our own piece of paper but the children didn’t understand that. Even the teacher who sat next to me had to keep asking me how to fold because she was too busy taking photos and videos when the instructor was demonstrating.
All in all, we folded five items, which I will be showing in my next post. It would be great if we could learn more about origami but we were already running late. The Workshop ended just before noon, after the Library Director presented some souvenirs to the instructors and the organiser, who is attached to the Japanese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, in charge of Cultural Affairs. Although the Workshop lasted about 1.5 hours only, I am glad that I managed to catch it. It was certainly a good opportunity for me to be exposed to foreign culture.
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