Sestubun was last Friday, February the 3rd. Each year in Japan this day marks the seasonal changeover from winter to spring on the lunar calendar. It also means that people get to dress up as ogres, throw roasted soy beans at each other and eat a roll of sushi the size of a small canoe while facing in the direction deemed to be most fortuitous for the coming year (this year was North North West). Setsubun is probably my favourite Japanese festival, as much for the lunatic rituals as for the prospect of the coming spring. (Although to be fair there ain't nothing spring-like about Kyoto in early February!)
Appropriate then that I use the occasion of Setsubun to revamp the ol' weblog here and usher in a new title: confluence. Confluence (defined as "a flowing together of two or more streams, rivers, or the like") seemed fitting, as my endlessly endearing (enduring?) wife E and I are up to our necks in the flow of raising our two kids to speak two languages, identify absolutely with two cultures, hold two nationalities and be at one with both vegemite on toast and natto on rice - all under one roof! Yes, our home is indeed a confluence of cultures, languages and ideas. Of confusion, compromises, and, of course, cuisine. And as with any river, we as a family are in a constant state of change; ups and downs, floods and droughts but always with a permanence of flow that ensures we are always moving, whether we like to be or not! It's a lot of fun though, this confluence malarky, hence the decision to begin sketching some of it down here.
The changeover for this blog has been a while in coming, but I decided it was time I started chronicling some of the adventures (and misadventures) in biculturalism our household undertakes. I wanted to start jotting these down primarily for their own prosperity but also to latch onto ideas, experiences, thoughts and musings from others out there (yes, you) that will hopefully both enrich and enlighten our own bicultural, bilingual, biotic journey. The journey through the mountains, to the sea. (Bring your own tube;)