At my daughters' school they have a weekly lesson focusing on aspects of Japanese culture. Yesterday I went to observe the class.

 The teacher appeared fairly young, and he entered the classroom wearing a baseball cap backwards, which was a little surprising given the nature of the lesson topic.

 The teacher then put some soft Koto music on, and proceeded to pull long strips of material from his bag, announcing that they were men's "Obi". 

 What followed was 50 absolutely fascinating minutes of information about the Obi's design, its purpose, who used them, when, why and how. The teacher was mesmerizing!

 As I watched the lesson I was reminded that only in Japan could long strips of material, essentially just simple belts, carry SO much depth and cultural significance. 

 On leaving the room I felt the vital role that education plays in culture continuation. I don't necessarily think that the kids in yesterday’s class need to remember every tiny detail about the "obi", but I do want them to know that Japanese culture, their culture, is incredibly deep and detailed. It’s not "strict", it’s "mindful". It’s considerate of everybody. 

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have observed this lesson.