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Japanese Christmas Show: Bringing a Japan Christmas to Holiday Shoppers – 12/20/09

December 21, 2009

It was just another day at the Harmon Cove Outlet Center in Secaucus, NJ, on the weekend before Christmas. There had been the typical Christmas events previously at the mall, such as Santa coming to sit with kids, and a magic show. Most stores and shoppers were just getting prepared to have one more day of weekend shopping before the big holiday on Friday of this week. But once they entered the mall they were surprised to find a new kind of show, with a different language and culture that didn’t seem quite so familiar, the Japanese Christmas Show!

The Japanese Christmas show used entertainment to attract the holiday masses. Performers who attracted crowds were acts such as the Amazing Amy, who used Yoga and her love of Anime to create a unique show called “Yoganime.” Crowds watched as Amy twisted and turned her body in ways that were quite painful to watch. Then cute holiday performers grabbed kids attention, such as Reni the Cosplay Singer, who sang some original songs along with some very familiar holiday tunes. The girl group “Promise” performed a cute and amazing set, considering how most members were not above 13 years old and had memorized 4 songs all in Japanese.

But it wasn’t just entertainment that grabbed the show but also the educational component. Hills Learning (www.hillslearning.com), a language school in New York City, sponsored all the activities done throughout the day (bingo, raffles, and rock paper scissors). The activities of course were not done without having the audience learn some Japanese in the process. The numbers 1-5 were taught to both children and adults alike, and they used their new found knowledge to play Bingo in Japanese! (A – shi (4 in English), M – san (3 in English) were typical combinations that were being called out by the Japanese cosplay singer Reni. The show also ended with a Rock, Paper, Scissors game, in Japanese style, which brought all the audience members together to battle it out for Japanese t-shirts.

All in all, an interesting event for shoppers at the Harmon Cove Outlet Center. Although possibly in time the names Hills Learning or Reni might fade from shoppers minds, what hopefully was accomplished was producing an interest in what’s new and different. Hills Learning uses multiple avenues to reach potential audiences who might be interested in learning a new language, other events can be found at http://hillslearning.com/NewsandEventsNYC.aspx The demographic at the Japanese Christmas Show was generally hispanic or chinese, both cultures that understand the importance of bilingual education, and appreciating other cultures beyond your own. We hopefully piqued some interest for the Japanese language and culture, and also gave shoppers a fun experience in the process!

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