The atmosphere became feverish as the Verbum Dei community prepared and practiced for their individual cultural presentations after dinnertime…
To start off the cultural festival of all the participating countries, namely, Australia, Philippines, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam and Taiwan, an animation/drama was presented by a few selected members of the various countries using the theme verse of the Encounter from Luke 5:3, “To push out a little distance from the shore.”
Australia was the first country to showcase their cultural heritage and to share some trivia information. They say it is the 6th largest country in the world. Tasmania, an island state south of the Australian mainland has the cleanest air in the world! Despite Australia being a well-developed country, it has the slowest Internet connection.
It boasts of having exotic animals, like koalas, kangaroos, and more sheep compared to its human population. The group also presented a skit on “How to become an Australian.”
The Philippines presented a very innovative traditional courtship dance from Cebu province. The audience were delighted to see how a Filipina woman is wooed by Filipino males. Some trivia information were presented as well, like, Filipinos love Basketball; they have a local transportation vehicle called “jeepneys” which bring them everywhere where there are passable roads, etc.
Verbum Dei in Hiroshima, Japan is a relatively new community, having been started only in February 2019. Fr. Iwao Ikegami and Kyoko Hashimoto collaborated to present a simple but very touching presentation on Japanese spirituality combining the Japanese calligraphy, national flower of Japan – Sakura (cherry blossom), the theme of the Encounter in a skit form… Fr. Iwao was introduced to the Verbum Dei community when he was still in the university and trying to find his purpose and the meaning of his life. When he found Jesus, despite living in a country composed of either, Shintos or Buddhists, he finally found his true calling, i.e., to be a missionary for Christ through the Verbum Dei community.
Singapore is known as the Lion City, where “Singa” means lion. However, there are no lions in Singapore! Amazing! Do you know that Singaporeans have the fastest walking speed on Earth? They walk as fast as bumblebees fly! Wow!
They say, Singaporeans speak Singlish, which simply means Singaporean-English… They presented a skit and a song which depicted about friendship and camaraderie among people.
The Vietnamese are healthy eaters. They prefer fresh herbs, vegetables and seafoods. They avoid greasy foods, which is a good way to slim down! They have a vitality drink, called Rouo ran, a snake wine for strength and vitality. The most common means of transport is by motorbikes and there are approximately 45 million of these in Vietnam. According to them, there are certain gifts which need to be avoided to give, like, handkerchiefs, anything black, yellow flowers, etc.
The group presented a song/dance presentation with a song titled, “Anh em ta ve.”
Finally, Taiwan, they say, has the fastest elevators in the world, located at Taipei 101 Tower. They have a unique garbage collection system, using singing garbage trucks which plays “Fur Elise” to prompt people to bring out their garbage. Amazing! Taiwanese have a favorite snack food made of smelly tofu which they say, “is hard on the nose but easy on the tongue!” Smelly tofu, anyone? Moreover, Taiwan has a free access to Wifi everywhere! This is great!
The group presented a skit which depicted a day’s adventure in Taiwan.
To cap the night of merriment and fun moments with one another, the Filipino community of VD Manila and Pasig presented a beautiful dance number called “Sinulog,” a dance which gives honor and praise to the Child Jesus!. Viva Pit Senor! (A plead to ask God for favor).