Friday 6 November 2009

Peculiar Customs

A television production company from Tokyo phoned me last night while I was trying to cook dinner for my family. It was a special curry and naan dinner to celebrate the success of the Mashiko Pottery festival. The gentleman from the TV program wanted me to be involved in a program called "Travelling around the world without leaving Japan". The gist of the program is for a TV personality to visit the home of various foreign born people now resident in japan and to experience something peculiar to the culture of their native land.

For two hours the gentleman quizzed me about Australian culture and what peculiar customs we performed in our home that they could notch into their program. Christmas was discussed, as was New Years Eve. He asked me if there were traditional songs and dances that we do, and even if I'd won any major awards. Basically he was hunting for the "Oh, aren't they different!" factor.

Australia is a multicultural nation, each family has its own traditions. If, as a nation, we have a defining quality, I should imagine that it is our recognition that all humans, regardless of culture, race or creed, share more commonalities than differences.

Mika waited dinner for me, but by the time I got off the phone the kids were starving, so we had a quick curry and rice and off to bed boys and girls. After they were in bed I cooked apple chutney like mum used to make, and tonight we had a real curry dinner, as promised, with naan and saffron rice.

If just one phone call could spoil our weekday dinner, imagine a TV crew at Christmas? It was kind of the gentleman to enquire, but I don't think my family or our customs are peculiar enough for his program. Needless to say, I declined.


  1. Euan, your patience with the TV company is amazing: I'm afraid I would have cut them off long before the first hour was up in such circs.! Sorry, couldn't help it - anyway, I always enjoy your blog.

  2. I spent 7 years as an apprentice in japan in the late 70's early 80's, mostly in Kyushu. I Married a Japanese man ( now also a potter) and now live in my home state of Ca. I enjoyed reading abut you, we live a similar life here, 2 kids a dog, cat and a long commitment to clay. Our style is much a blending of the 2 countrie, hence the name Nichibei Potters.

    I would be most interested in participating in a event ofthistype in Japan some day. We visit often. How would I find out about details, can anyone atttend?

    best regards,

    Cheryl Costantini