On the train from Kolkota to Puri we met a few Japanese and to make a story short we ended up celebrating new years’ eve with some 30 Japanese in Puri. Daniel and myself were two out of four whitees in the room and we were hospitalized in the warmest and most generous way.
Apparently, new years’ eve in Japan is a family holiday. The nuclear family meet up, have dinner and than go to the temple to say a pray for the New Year. Later, the younger people go out clubbing and partying.
We arrived early to assist in the joint cooking of the meal. I was only allowed to chop some leafs than asked politely to leave the kitchen. The menu included what seems like a ten course meal made with many different kinds of seafood as well as loads of beers and other chemicals.
After dinner, it was time for some “talent presentation”: a boy made a really nice punch, one guy rolled endless joints, another demonstrated some Japanese martial arts, one other guy was playing the guitar and I was dancing salsa. Surprisingly, I found myself using my education as a certified salsa instructor and actually gave a salsa lesson to some eight Japanese.
At midnight we climbed to the roof for some traditional fireworks and new years blessings and toasts. We went to sleep rather late but I found myself wide awake at 5:30 am and so I got out to our balcony to watch the sunshine and meditate and I welcomed the first sunshine of the year while meditating on forgiveness and compassion….