‘My Thanet’ Karuta Project
First Karuta Project 2012 -2013
The first project created a community karuta on the theme of Thanet, the local area. School children and local art groups took part in a competition to create pictures, in any medium depicting an aspect of Thanet. 26 pictures were chosen. The ‘My Thanet’ Schools Karuta Tournament took place in 2013 when teams from four Thanet schools competed against each other. The winners were Salmestone Primary Academy, Margate.
The award ceremony for the artists was combined with a tea party. The winning artists, children and adults, came to the afternoon with partners, friends and members of their family. TFI arranged the practical side of the event for example, the hiring of the hall, ordering the food and arranging a cake baking competition. FJI arranged the ceremony, the display of the original artwork and prizes. So there was a combination of two different cultures organizing an event that gave it a unique atmosphere that was appreciated by everyone.
Most of the people were there because they had won an art competition not because they necessarily knew about Fairtrade. However, Adam Gardner from the Fairtrade Foundation gave an illustrated talk providing a detailed insight into the benefits of Fairtrade and many participants commented on how much they had learnt.
It was a very refreshing experience for members of TFI and the wider community who engaged with concepts of Fairtrade and aspects of Japanese culture. We are grateful to the Daiwa Foundation who part funded this project.
Promoting Fairtrade in Thanet
Since the end of the project the ‘My Thanet’ karuta cards have been used at TFI events promoting Fairtrade. They are an excellent way to draw adults and children to the stall by asking them if they would like to ‘test their knowledge of Thanet?’ Once a dialogue has started then it is easier to start talking about Fairtrade.
At certain events, for example, World Food Day, volunteer Japanese students , this time from Chaucer College, University of Kent, Canterbury introduce children to ‘My Thanet’ karuta. The students talk to the children, which they often find easier than talking to adults.