Knowing all about kimonos
November 19 2017 10:06 PM
ENGROSSED: Chief guest Haruhi Otsuka, left (seated), with other guests at the event.

By Mudassir Raja

Women from different cultures and countries got together to learn new things about Japan at an event organised recently by the International Ladies Potluck Group (ILPG). 
ILPQ members celebrated a Japanese day with cultural dresses and traditional food on Thursday at the group’s usual venue, Al Jazi Garden 4 Clubhouse.
Over 150 members of the ILPO attended the event, titled “Japanese Kimono”. The chief guest on the occasion was Haruhi Otsuka, wife of Seiichi Otsuka, ambassador of Japan to Qatar.
The event started with a sushi demonstration by Chef Vincent. 
The next thing on the agenda was an introduction of Japanese skincare and makeup brand, Shiseido. The presentation was made by Chadia Mazloum of Salam Store, one of the main sponsors of the ILPG.
The main event of the get-together was the Kimono Show, performed by the Doha Kimono Club. ILPG members at the gathering said they really enjoyed the show and cheered the models. They also appreciated the colourful kimonos that were on display. 
The Kimono Show was followed by a lunch featuring Japanese delicacies, such as sushi and sashimi. 
ILPG President Shriani Burley told Community, “At Doha Kimono Club, students learn not only how to wear kimono but also its history, kimono culture, Japanese etiquettes, and Japanese unique traditional values that are essential to learning about a kimono.”
The ILPG president further explained, “The club offers the same kimono dresser or kimono teaching programmes and courses that are taught at Kyoto Kimono Gakuin (Kyoto Kimono Institute) in Japan. Since its inception, many people from culturally diverse backgrounds have joined the club and some of them are now working as professional kimono dressers.” 
She further said, “Kyoto Kimono Gakuin is Japan’s largest, oldest, and one of the most famous kimono schools and it has branches across the country. Kyoto Kimono Gakuin is member of Nihon Chakuso Consultant Association (Japan Professional Kimono Dressing Consultants Association).”
The president said, “Chiho Funeno is the artistic director at the Doha Kimono Club. She is also an assistant professor, with Kimono Teaching Certificate from Kyoto Kimono Institute. She has a Kimono Dresser Certificate from the institute.” 
Sharing her views with Community, Haruhi Otsuka, wife of the Japanese ambassador and the chief guest, said, “It is wonderful to be here. Even though I am Japanese, I was deeply impressed by the show. I was very happy to see the Japanese flag.”
She added, “It is just fantastic to see a lot of different people at one place and everybody is very much interested in Japanese traditions. I am so proud of it. It was a happy and delightful event for me.”
Nancy Jaber, a US citizen, said, “Watching Japanese culture was amazing. It was very emotional seeing all the women [dressed in kimonos]. It was also amazing to see their costumes. The demonstration on how to put on the kimono was very interesting.”
Jabber added, “They are a very interesting group of people, so elegant in their walk and features. I loved it. We are so lucky here in Qatar to have something like this. Where else are you going to see something like this. I love being a part of the ILPG and I attend all their events.”
Nerlyn Longitsch, a national of the Philippines who has been living in Qatar for 14 years, said, “The presentation of Japanese culture and clothes was very classical and beautiful. It was simply exquisite. Ladies from different cultures and countries get to bond at the ILPG events. They get a chance to learn new and different things about other cultures.”

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