Happy BBQ shocked me.

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Sep 24, 2010 08:06
My wife and I were invited to a BBQ party at a beautiful English garden of my colleague. He is not my boss, but a professor.

The garden had many fruit trees, like apples and grapes, and off course green grass. The invitation said it's from 1 o'clock afternoon. We thus went there exactly at 1 o'clock. Japanese are, not always, but typically punctual.

No other guest arrived yet. We then enjoyed a conversation with the host family for a while. Fifty minutes later, the next guest appeared. Finally, about 20 people were gathered there.

We enjoyed wines, beers, and porks as well as ethnic side menus which guests had brought there to spend a great afternoon.

What shocked me was the atmosphere. People there were all totally relaxed. The host family concentrate to make their guests relaxed and the guests including many graduate students looked so.

Why was this shocking? Well, I had similar home party at my boss's house in Japan, but the guests, also including many graduate students, never relaxed. Some of them had to come there a couple of hours before the party and had to buy food materials and cook them. The rest of them arrived on time, but even they had to please the boss and his wife, making effort to have good jokes and cheerful responses. Compared to the atmosphere of English garden party, it was nothing like relaxation at all!

I did really enjoy the garden party. However, I cannot help thinking about the cultural and psychological factors underlying that big difference in atmosphere....