Friday, 24 April 2015

Erika experiences something different and finds new things in common in Sheffield


It’s Erika, the Japanese ambassador for the University of Sheffield's International Office.  You can find out more about me on my web page.

Five-minute-walk from Student Union
I went and watched a French play this Tuesday.  The play actually ran for three nights. I was really looking forward to this play because I did not have a chance to go into this Drama Studio before and I thought that it looks traditional and nice. I learned French in my undergraduate studies, so I could understand their conversations a little. But for me, the purpose of watching this play was not follow their conversation but to know their non-verbal communication such as gestures and facial expressions. This is relevant to my interests and in my course.

Also, there was not a lot of  distance between the cast and the audience; we were up-close. Sometimes the protagonist came and sat next to one of the audience as part of his performance. It was much more fun than watching their performance only on the stage. All the cast are University students. I really like that they synchronised the protagonist's act and other casts' voices.

After the play, I wanted to learn French more.  Watching plays and films let me feel  as if I am getting involved in French culture, and this is much easier than learning the language to me. I believe the arts, including paintings, literature, plays and music, can go beyond languages.

Next time, I would like to watch a musical in this drama studio.

Edge ballroom in Endcliffe village
 Also, St Patrick's Day was on that same day. There were lots of people in green here and there on West Street celebrating. In the supermarket, shopworkers were wearing green headbands for it, others were putting on big green hat. They were really lovely.

On Saturday, one of my friends took me to a party to celebrate St Patrick's Day. It was held in one of the student villages of Sheffield accommodation, Endcliffe. At the stage, some people play Irish instruments. I joined this party because I love Irish folk music.

I had no idea about Irish dance at first and didn't know what to expect being a beginner, so I could not believe that I could dance with my friends for two hours! It was so exciting and really new for me. People there were always smiling and enjoyed the atmosphere. It was comfortable, even though I went there for the first time. I also met a lot of other international students here who study different courses from mine. It was an awesome night.

By Erika Uchiyama
 International Office Ambassador for Japan

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