By Alia Naffouj, U.S. Army Garrison Japan Public AffairsMay 17, 2016
CAMP ZAMA, Japan (May 17, 2016) - Zama Community Spouses' Association hosted a friendship celebration May 13 at the Camp Zama Community Activity Center, themed "American Carnival."
"We have 50 ladies from our Japanese Friendship Group; they are here celebrating a completion of a wonderful ZaCSA year," said Melanie Kincaid, ZaCSA president.
The event was held as a way to thank the Japanese Friendship Groups that has hosted eight cultural events throughout the year- sharing their Japanese cultural experiences, said Kincaid.
"Now this is our chance to share our American traditions with our Japanese Friendship Groups," she said.
The American-style carnival held games such as: ring toss, pop-the-balloon, a dunking tank, to include typical carnival snacks like cotton candy and popcorn.
There was a lot of laughing and smiling during the event.
"I love seeing the Japanese ladies smile and have a great time with ZaCSA," said Brittany Riley, Friendship Group People-to-People chair for ZaCSA.
One attendee, Shuko Yamamoto, said she liked playing the games- "it was very American and we normally don't have a chance to play."
Another attendee, Toshiko Yoshimura, said playing games and doing activities outside was a nice way to experience American culture.
"It's like a fair," said Yoshimura, who has been participating in the several cultural exchanges held by ZaCSA for over 20 years.
"Even though people leave, it's important to sustain relationships like this. It's also a good way to show our children how important it is to experience other cultures," said Yoshimura.
Through events such as this, Kincaid said she hopes people can grow and expand those "cross-cultural" connections.