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Peace Education

Autumn Japanese Tea Ceremony in Washington DC

Washington DC, USA - The autumn Japanese Tea Ceremony was held at the UPF’s Peace Embassy in Washington, DC Nov. 21, 2013. Two sessions allowed a total of 60 diplomats including seven ambassadors from 26 embassies, Ambassadors for Peace, friends of UPF and the staff to enjoy either lunch or dinner despite their busy schedules.

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Guests arrived filled with awe at the delicate Japanese decorations seen throughout the rooms, encouraging everyone to “leave their cares behind” and join in a fellowship of shared enrichment - visually, sensually and philosophically as MC Mrs. Tomiko Duggan, dressed in a beautiful, embroidered, dark purple kimono, explained the history and tradition behind the “Way of Tea” ceremony: “There is but one chance in one’s life time to meet a person.”

Tea Mistress, in a dark green kimono, Mrs. Kumiko Francis (a practitioner of the Tea Ceremony for over 15 years) carefully prepared each cup of tea in a traditional bowl for each guest, served by one of the four equally beautifully kimono-clad staff members. Each cup of healthy green tea was preceded by a traditional sweet confection to balance the bitterness of the tea. Each person participated in the traditions of turning the bowl of tea and taking three sips with the last one being a “slurp,” indicating the satisfaction of the participant.

A delicious meal of sushi and tempura followed the tea ceremony, and good conversation was had by all. Each left with a greater sense of peace and tranquility imbued by their experience at the ceremony.

Lunch had an overflowing crowd of guests. Ambassadors and/or wives from Albania, Botswana, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji and Lesotho participated with other diplomats from Belarus, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Gambia, Georgia, Kenya, the Lao People’s Republic, Mozambique, the Russian Federation and Togo.

Dinner with Ambassador Heng Hem of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Ambassador and Mrs. Erlan Idrissov of Kazakhstan, and others representing Afghanistan, Paraguay, the PLO mission, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain; along with NGO leaders and private sector guests.

The guests departed as friends filled with warmth, joy and peace.

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