June 11th, 2005

Sheri - yahoo icon

Picture taking, mochi-pounding - what a morning!

What a culture filled morning I had today! I ended up going to the Pan-Pacific Festival to try to photograph some of the exhibits at Kapiolani Park. At first I was a little apprehensive about going because it was so far away and I knew the parking situation would be horrendous, but I ended up being very glad that I went. Not only did I meet some VERY interesting people, but I learned so much more about my own culture. :)

The highlight of the morning was definitely the mochi-pounding demonstration - which is a Japanese ritual in which sweet rice is pounded into a sticky rice cake dessert. (While I was googling the term "mochi-pounding" I ran into this article about the actual group that was there doing the demonstration this morning - they were great!) It was really interesting to see the process since no one actually "pounds" mochi anymore (they have machines that do it automatically.) Throughout the demonstration, they asked by-standers if they wanted to try their hand at pounding. They asked me, but unfortunately I have the WORST eye/hand coordination imaginable and it would've been VERY dangerous for the person mixing and turning the mochi if I had control of that mallet! ;) For the sake of their fingers, they should be very glad that I didn't try it! :)

After the first couple of demonstrations, they passed around a tray of the finished product for the audience to sample. It was delicious! I love mochi to begin with, but getting to eat it warm and freshly pounded was a real treat! :) I'm really glad that I went - it's a part of my culture that I've never really had the chance to experience.

Tomorrow Mark, Sydney & I are meeting Susan, Fredrick, and Toby-dog for Petwalk - which is the annual fundraising walk for our local Humane Society. Mark & I used to help out with the event every year when we were volunteers for the Humane Society, but a few years ago we stopped volunteering and began actually participating in the event instead. It's always so much fun to see all the pets there with their owners and it's an event that we try not to miss each year. I'm bringing my camera along and hopefully I'll be able to get some pictures while I'm there. :)

I'd better get to sleep if I'm going to wake up at 5am (yikes!) tomorrow morning to make it in time for the walk. Hope you all have a nice evening. :)
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