Weyermann® Academy: International employees introduce their country of origin
Many thanks go to our international Weyermann® employee Akina Goto-Byalkov for the interesting insight into her country of origin Japan. As part of a Weyermann® Academy event she introduced Japan to us with a lecture in our historic canteen.
Akina, who is the wife of Yovcho Byalkov, our Weyermann® Production Manager in Haßfurt, has been working as a tour guide at Weyermann® since March 2017. She is originally from Yamagata.
Akina began her lecture with some general information about Japan and the geographical location of the country. Then she introduced Japan´s most important festival of the year, the Japanese New Year, with all its customs and traditions.
Preparations for the most important event of the year already start at the beginning of December. After a thorough house cleaning, the house is decorated festively. "Kagami Mochi" is one of the traditional decorations for the New Year celebrations. It consists of two large rice cakes and an orange and shall bring good luck.
Soba noodles are traditionally eaten on the last night of the year. The long noodles stand for a long life. Accordingly, they shall give a long and healthy life and strength in the new year. It is important to eat every single noodle, because the luck-bringing effect could otherwise be reversed.
The new year is greeted with the ringing of temple bells. The bells ring 108 bell times. This is done to forswear the 108 human desires.
On New Year´s Day, traditional "Osechi" dishes are eaten, finely arranged in a box. The individual foods of an Osechi are attributed with positive features such as e.g. happiness, a long life, fertility, health or wealth.
Another important element is the writing and sending of New Year´s cards ("nengajo"). These are sent to friends, relatives and people who helped you in the cause of the year. With these cards people thank others for their help and continue to ask for help and respect in the new year.
Many children also get extra pocket money for the new year ("otoshidama"). They receive the yew year´s allowance from their parents or relatives in small, decorative envelopes
Finally, Akina explained that it is common in Japan to visit a Buddhist temple or shrine with the family. People usually pray for divine protection and personal happiness for the new year.
To top off her lecture, Akina invited the audience to taste a Japanese cake specialty from Nagasaki - Castella – which she had brought along.
Akinas wonderful introduction of her country of origin was rewarded by our boss Sabine Weyermann with a voucher for our Weyermann® Craft Beer Fan Shop.
We are already looking forward to the next trip to another country of origin of a Weyermann® employee!