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は:はし Training Chopsticks

6 Mar

A few weeks ago, I decided to make somen for lunch. And I thought it would be fun to let my daughter use chopsticks for the first time. Somen is NOT the best food for first-time chopstick users! … but it was definitely fun to watch my determined 2-year old try to shovel the slippery noodles into her mouth.

After the experience, I thought, “THAT didn’t go well. I guess I’ll put the hashi away for another year or two.”

Then, one of my (very thoughtful) friends presented me with this gift:

Training Chopsticks! They are really awesome. It is just right for little hands and my daughter got the hang of it in under a minute. (In Japanese, this particular set is called コンビ ベビーレーベルはじめてサポートおはし. The Japanese on the front of the package says “Made for a growing child’s hands”, “From ages 2 and up”, “Teaches correct positioning”, “For both right and left handed children”, “OK for the microwave”, and “Won’t slip easily”).

The back of the package has detailed instructions:

What a great invention! AND the best part is, it is available for purchase in the USA. You can buy it from Amazon.com by clicking here. It is priced pretty reasonably at $6.49. (If you haven’t joined Amazon MOM, you should! It’s free and you get free shipping on almost everything, including these はし!).

If this particular set doesn’t appeal to you, there are other types of training chopsticks, here and here.

When you introduce your child to chopsticks, make sure to teach them about chopsticks etiquette too (from JustHungry).  You’ll learn things such as… Never use chopsticks as a hair accessory. It’s like sticking a fork in your hair. You’ve never been guilty of that crime, have you?

あ:あいさつ

19 Jan

fumira.jp

おはようございます、おじゃまします、いってきます、おつかれさまです。。。There seems to be an infinite number of greetings and polite phrases in Japanese ( I probably have a lot to learn in this area!).  I’m hoping to teach my children these “aisatsu” words as early as possible… and the best way they learn is by example, so I better study up on these words and how to use them correctly!

Here are some websites I found to be informative:

1) The Proper Use of Chopsticks at Shoo Town

2) Wikipedia article about Etiquette in Japan

3) English websites with Japanese Greetings at Yuki’s Page and Nihongo o Narau

4) Series of cartoons about Aisatsu at “Nikkori Aisatsu Ehon”

 

I also found a coloring page, ”げんきにごあいさつ” at ぬりえやさん.

We  have this book, ”こんなときってなんていう?”, which is an adorable board book about how to use greetings.

I really love how polite all the Japanese people I have met are. The rest of the world has a lot to learn from their culture!

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