こんにちは

みなさん、ようこそ「にほんご できます!」へ。毎日 べんきょうや しごとなどで いそがしいですね。たいへんですね。
でも、いっしょに 日本語の べんきょうも あそびも がんばりましょう。

2010/12/30

Will I get an 'otoshidama' ? ( お年玉もらえるかな?)

Duit Raya packet
angpow packet
As Malaysians, we are so used to receiving 'angpow' (red packets with money) or 'duit raya' during festivals such as Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali. Even now, as a working adult, I still receive angpows from my parents and elder siblings and sometimes from relatives ! That's the advantage of being single....receive but not required to give. (HAHA !) That's the chinese culture..the belief is that the more you give away your fortune, the more you will receive in the new year. As for the Malays, some of my students told me that they stopped receiving duit raya as soon as they entered university or started working. Duit Raya is only meant for the little ones :D.  The same goes for Deepavali celebration. Well, the main purpose of giving out angpow or duit raya is actually to make the 'little ones' happy. My family's custom is just exceptional, I must admit.

otoshidama packet
Now, how about the Japanese custom, you might want to know. The Japanese give out otoshidama to their own children and little children of relatives and friends. Do find out more from this wonderful website I found. I am not sure what is the age limit in receiving otoshidama but I received my first otoshidama from my foster family when I was studying in Japan at the age of 25... :)  It was from my obaasan (grandmother). Otoosan and okaasan (dad and mum) did not give me one..I guess it must be that obaasan 'represented' the family to bestow the good fortune on me :D I won't tell you how much I received cos it would make you green with envy !! Besides the otoshidama, I received lots of foodstuff and my train fare fully paid by otoosan and okaasan ! They were such generous and nice people ! And they surely did make my 5 years stay in Japan a memorable one. Not only that, they showed me ( a foreign student ) what unconditional love is... accepting me into their family and taking care of me all those years. I watched their children grow up, enter university and got married. Otoosan finally gave up smoking (or else he wouldn't be allowed to go near his grandson !) and obaasan passed on... I promised to myself that I will pass on the kindness they showed me to others. Also, to share my culture and what little I know of others' that had made my life so rich and colorful.  :) Teaching is not only about finishing the syllabus and fabulous exam results, the biggest part is to educate young ones how to understand other's cultures while appreciating their own even more in the process.
Cheers ! Happy 2011 ! May the new year bring more joy, success and everything nice to each and everyone of you who read this ! :) So, do you think you will get an otoshidama this year ?

2010/12/27

5S methodology

A new year is around the corner...yet I've gone back to not a very new methodology for the future use. Maybe most have heard of the 5S methodology in efficient working. It came from 5 japanese words starting with S.
Seiri (Sorting), Seiton (Setting in order), Seiso (Systematic cleaning/ Shining), Seiketsu (Standardizing) and Shitsuke ( Sustaining the self-discipline). Perhaps the last one is the hardest to keep. Gambarimasu !
がんばります~~

For more details, have a look at this link. :) Cheers ! Siew2 Sensei goes 5S....

では、よいお年を。。

2010/12/22

Task 1 of 2011 - new year card ( ねんがじょう)

1) Make a nengajou base on the notes I've put up in 'culture'.
2) Leave the name and address blank. 
3) Enjoy your task :)
4) Bring it with you on your first day to school.
5) We will post it to your 'secret' friend.
6) Wait for a reply from your 'secret' friend.


Let's make our own Nengajou 年賀状

Samples of Nengajou done by SAS students of 2009...
as you can guess, 2009 was the year of the ox.
It's the time of the year ! Time to take out your pen and brush to make new year cards (nengajou) for your friends. It is the Japanese custom to send new year cards to friends and relatives on the 1st of January (oshougatsu). Nowadays, you can send digital nengajou through emails or buy readily printed ones from the shops or post offices. But it is still best when you put an effort and your own creativity into it.  When you are making your own nengajou, here are some points that you would like to bear in mind.

1)  Size
The size of the card is the same as any common postcard.  Use one side to draw/ write your greetings and messages. Keep the other side to write the address.

 2) Greetings
     Common greetings are :
  • あけまして おめでとう ございます。きょねんは たいへん おせわになりまして、ありがとう ございました。今年も どうぞ よろしく おねがいします。
  • しんねん おめでとう ございます。きょねんは たいへん おせわに なりました。ほんとうに ありがとう ございました。今年も よろしく おねがいします。
 3) Messages
This is where you write some messages or updates on what you (and your family) have been doing throughout 2010 and your expectations for 2011.

 4) Decoration
2011 is the year of the rabbit. Thus, you can decorate your card with cute pictures of rabbits. Of course, you may use flowers or abstracts, etc but it will not be appropriate to use the pictures of the tiger (2010) or dog, etc.

 5) Address
Do make sure you have written the address correctly and do not forget to write your address too. Your friend would most probably like to send you a card too.
    
 6)Timing
Timing is very important! You must make sure your nengajou does not reach your friend before the 1st of January ( as it is not new year yet ) or later than 10th of January (it will seem 'insincere'). If you are in Japan, the problem of sending nengajou too early is not a problem as the post office will keep your nengajou until the 1st of January.

Follow this link if you want to find out more ideas on how to write a proper nengajou. :)
Good luck and let your creativity flows ! Send me one too !

Nengajou received from our friends in Thailand
2010 nengajou done by SAS students

2010/12/14

After the Homestay..

Many of you have just came back from Japan :) Okaerinasai ! Did you have a good time ? Some joined homestay programs and this prompted me to write something about it.
Congrats, you have a Japanese family now. So, what do you do after the homestay program ended ? Do you just bid farewell and go your own ways, never to be heard again ? What is the most important thing that you must remember after attending a homestay program ?
Well, it is the appreciation you show to your host families after that. A simple thank you card or letter will mean a lot to them. First of all, let them know that you have arrived home safely. Then, tell them how happy you are to have met them and lastly thank them for taking care of you. It is simple, isn't it ? A small, simple courtesy goes a long way. I hope all of you will continue the goodwill and keep in touch with your new found Japanese families.

FAQ   1    : I do not know their address..
ANSWER: Find out from the coordinator of the program. I am sure with the advance technology now, you can find out. All it takes is the 'will' to do it. And if there's a will, there's always a way !
FAQ   2   :  I am not good in writing. Can I just give them a call ?
ANSWER: Yes, why not. But don't just end it with a phone call. Christmas and New Year is near..do send them a card too :)