A Merry Christmas to all! I’m Cindy from Singapore and I am honored to have this opportunity to share with you my recent experience at Nozomi. I thoroughly enjoyed every second spent here and have been inspired as well as encouraged by the team and the locals.
Seeing snow for the first time, Christmas this year has been exceptionally special for me. In Singapore, it’s either hot or wet all year round and the only “snow” we see are made of foam. It feels surreal to be in Ishinomaki this festive season and the cold and showers definitely didn’t dampen any of our spirits here at Nozomi. Earlier on Tuesday, we had our Christmas party over lunch and the fun and conversations over good food warmed our hearts and stomachs.
It wouldn’t be called a party if there weren’t any games, right? So we started the party with a game which I would conveniently name, “Don’t Miss It!”; throughout lunch, an appointed leader would freeze whenever and the rest of us have to notice her freeze and mimic her actions. Being the last would result in extra makeup on the face… and it might even mean having lipstick on unconventional parts of your face.
We also played a fun game I had never done in which we all drew Christmas scenes on paper plates on top of our head! The results, and the process, were hilarious.
The restaurant was sporadically filled with peals of laughter and moments of deathly silence due to the ladies’ seriousness at playing the games. Coupled with the amazing dishes streaming in from the kitchen, both my heart and stomach were satisfied. In fact, even though I was a total stranger at the party, I felt that I was a part of Nozomi with all the fun. During the party, we also exchanged gifts and boy, we couldn’t stop smiling as we unwrapped our gifts.
Apart from receiving the gifts to that were prepared with loads of love, Sue shared with the ladies a greater gift from above – the birth of Jesus and the reason for Christmas. As the party came to an end, I looked across the room and I saw the smiles on the faces of the Nozomi ladies, I felt so much love from and for them. Despite having a foreigner invade their Christmas party, they not only welcomed me, they even prepared a unique Christmas gift for me using their strengths – making accessories, but out of candies! Living in a multicultural country like Singapore, it can be easy to give myself an excuse to just walk past someone who is unable to understand me or may be of a different nationality, but this party has demonstrated that love should not be inhibited by such differences. In fact, I would like to think that love is an international language that no matter where one is, it can be understood and appreciated by all. Wishing one “Merry Christmas” is to wish the other joy and well wishes and I am sure that simple acts of love this Christmas would make a great accompaniment to your wishes. May this season of Christmas be a season of love as well! メリークリスマス!