When we first moved to Japan in 2014, everything was new and we had no idea what we were doing, especially when it came to the festivals! Our twins Becca and Anna went into Japanese kindergarten and soon after came our first experience with Tanabata. Thankfully the other Japanese parents were extremely helpful in getting us oriented and we were soon pros at the whole thing.
Fast forward to 2020 and all three girls have danced in a number of Tanabata Festivals — but this year was a first for us as Joshua took his turn. Normally this festival is held in July, but due to Corona, they postponed it until September. We are very thankful that the school found a way to make it work — dividing the whole school into three different groups to limit the amount of people together at the same time.
Even though the festival felt very different, it was still great to see Joshua and his friends all dressed up in their yukatas, dancing together and having a great time.
When you move to a new country, cultures are going to blend. The extent to which that happens depends on you and what you want for your family and children. For us, we are embracing as much of Japanese culture as we can. There are so many wonderful parts and we don’t want to miss out. What we won’t do is compromise our beliefs — we won’t worship other gods or idols, but we certainly respect everyone else’s choice to do so. Our Heavenly Father gives us such a rich and rewarding life that we need not seek out some other source of blessing — He is more than enough! And we are super blessed to live and work in such a beautiful country with its amazing people.