Leveling Up Japanese Language Studies through the Ikebana Experience

After being shown principles and techniques of making flower arrangements, participants created their own Ikebana as part of the workshop.

Recognizing culture as a significant aspect in learning a foreign language, the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) held an Ikebana workshop, conducted as part of the Cultural Appreciation Program.

This workshop was organized on 14 July 2019 for the participants of the Nihongo V class to enable these students to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Japanese culture and values.

The workshop was facilitated by Ms. Margot Perez, Ms. Christina Abalos, and Mr. Marc Tomas, who were representatives from the Ikebana Manila Chapter 108.

The facilitators highlighted the history of Ikebana and featured the fusion of arranging Philippine plants through this Japanese method.

Ikebana is the famous Japanese art of arranging flowers, branches, leaves, and stems. The name comes from the Japanese words “ike,” meaning “alive” or “arrange,” and “bana” meaning “flower”. 

In Japan, people perceive Ikebana as more than just creating aesthetically-pleasing flower arrangements as decoration. It is considered a “way of life” in developing one’s spirituality, as Ikebana promotes patience and reflection for the well-being of the individual.

The workshop was followed by a Japanese cuisine lunch for the participants at the Watami Japanese Casual Restaurant.

The Institute also organized an origami workshop for the Nihongo class participants in 2018. The activities for the Cultural Appreciation Programs vary annually based on the culture of the language taken in class.

The Institute’s Cultural Appreciation Program is handled by the Carlos P. Romulo School of Diplomacy’s Language Programs Section.

The participants together with FSI Officer-in-Charge Ms. Celeste Vinzon-Balatbat, Nihongo class Instructor, Ms. Josephine Sato, and Japanese flower arrangement experts at FSI’s Ikebana workshop.
Nihongo participants indulging in Japanese cuisine.