Japanese Tea Ceremony
Washington D.C. – In the most beautiful time of the year in Washington, DC, the Japanese Tea Ceremony was held at the Peace Embassy on April 21, 2016. The driveway and entrance to the UPF Peace Embassy was cooled with water to welcome the guests which signifies purification of the surroundings of the “Tea House” as the guests arrived. The guests were then greeted at the entrance door by a Kimono-clad hostess.
The hall of the Peace Embassy was transformed into a Japanese tea house for the occasion with many festive origami pieces and art from Japan. A delicious Japanese dinner was served afterward.
Over 40 guests, diplomats from the Embassies of Russia, Lithuania, Pakistan and the Bahamas, NGO leaders and friends of UPF in the Washington, DC community attended the ceremony.
Tomiko Duggan, Executive Director of Public Affairs of UPF USA introduced the guiding vision and the founding principles of Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the Founder of the Universal Peace Federation, which is to build a world of peace where all people from different cultures, races, nationalities and religions can live as true brothers and sisters, as “One Family Under God” by practicing the universal principles of “Living for the Sake of Others and for the Whole.”
She explained at the tea ceremony that the way of tea is to serve others. What we learn in the “Way of Tea” is how to live in harmony and, to develop the attitude of respect toward others and all things, to have purity, honesty, truthfulness, and sincere emotions to obtain tranquility of heart.
Before the ceremony was conducted, UPF USA – Washington, DC appointed two persons to become “Ambassadors for Peace.”
Susan Fefferman, “Ambassadors for Peace” program coordinator, emphasized that the appointment to be an “Ambassador for Peace” is not for what you have achieved; this is an appointment to become the conscience of society to bring spiritual and moral principles to the tasks for resolving problems of our world.
The first recipient was Ms. Beverly Ezeokoli, born in Trinidad who migrated to the United States at 13 years old. She graduated with a (BSW) Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Southern Connecticut State University in 1984. She worked for the City of New Haven in the Welfare Department for almost ten years, as a Social Investigator/Social Worker, and presently is employed by the Montgomery County School System as a Para- educator.
Ms. Katrina Johnson, a native of Richmond graduated from Howard University earning a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Interior Design and Architecture, with a primary focus in micro-environmental studies. She believes true wellness is achieved by nurturing the mind, body, spirit and soul with the natural gifts God blessed us with, and helping others to do the same.
The guests from different cultures and nationalities enjoyed the ceremony and experience of Japanese customs and different social etiquette. The guests stayed long after the ceremony talking with one another and sharing an enjoyable time.
Contributed by: Tomiko Duggan, Executive Director, UPF Washington D.C.