Karlsruhe, Germany—Visitors to a UPF meeting received a taste of the unusual as they took part in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.
The monthly meeting of the UPF chapter was held, not as usual on a Saturday and not in the county library, but this time on a Sunday—June 24, 2018—and in a small room rented from an early Christian community. The pre-event publicity, mostly through leaflets, telephone calls and e-mails, resulted in a good attendance.
UPF activist Rüdiger Gräber had chosen as his topic “The Japanese Tea Ceremony” to give a glimpse into other cultures and traditions. To start the meeting, Mr. Gräber greeted the participants and thanked those who had traveled from Stuttgart, before introducing the program topic.
As Hubert Arnoldi, the leader of UPF in Stuttgart, explained about the origin and significance of the tea ceremony, his wife, Yoshiko Arnoldi, demonstrated how the ceremony is done, assisted by another Japanese woman, Yasuko.
The audience learned that this centuries-old tradition has been influenced by the Japanese, Chinese and Korean cultures and is close to Zen.
Through the tea ceremony, one separates from daily life and can experience peace and self-reflection, as the ceremony is conducted in almost total silence. Also the atmosphere in a Japanese tea house and other Japanese customs were described.
Some final words from Mr. Gräber brought the event to an end. Before returning home, many participants said they felt enriched by the special insights gained into the depth and beauty of Japanese culture and values.