Chabana

Chanoyu Workshop at The German University in Cairo

After the move from Jordan to Egypt last September, it took a few months to start Chanoyu Arabia’s activities in Cairo.

The Applied Arts Activity Week at the GUC, was a great chance to introduce Chanoyu to the students.

With great help from my dear tea friends whom I met in Cairo, we were able to set up a tea room, suitable for the activity.

Colleagues and students were happy to get a taste of this inspiring culture.

The activity was held over two days, with people mostly sitting in as guests, and one student was eager to learn how to make tea by herself.

It was very rewarding to see the enthusiasm, and the keenness to learn precisely how to hold each utensil and handle it properly.

The student was able to learn bonryaku temae, and also the hirademae usucha.

It was great using both Japanese and Egyptian utensils in our first official event in Egypt.

“Sen Ri Dou Fu” meaning Same wind blows, even at a thousand miles, was the theme of our gathering, for it was the same wind that set sailed me from Japan to Jordan, and now even further to Egypt.

Our kind tea friends, with the keen student.

The guests enjoyed the sweets, the tea, and looking at the gorgeous kimonos.

Starting with the basic steps of learning chanoyu, such as folding the chakin, fukusa, and wiping the natsume and chashaku.

The first tea bowl.

One of our Japanese enthusiast colleagues enjoying his tea.

Thanks to all of those who came and enjoyed their time, and to all the friends who went out of their way to help out in this memorable event, that even after several months, some students express their desire in taking part in any future similar events.


Chabana (flower arrangement for the tea room)

Chabana is quiet different than the more known Ikebana art. While the latter may seem more difficult and elaborate, Chabana -in my opinion- can be more difficult because it tries to achieve a sense of naturalness, yet leave a big impression without exaggeration.

There are many rules and guidelines to help you achieve this effect, yet the best way to learn, is to try and put your heart into it.

In Tea, seasons affect almost everything, evidently Chabana. In summer, flowers are numerous with a lot of greenery. In winter, nothing beats the beauty in the loneliness of a single flower such as camellia bud with a few leaves.

There are two parallel thoughts one must keep in mind while studying and practising Chado, the focus on “Now”, and the excitement about “New”. There is no dwelling on the past, and one cannot be late in either time or season.

Your guests won’t be excited to see flowers they have been seeing a lot lately. You want to always announce the commencement of a new season in everything you do, from the hanging scroll, to the flower arrangement, and even the choice of sweets.