It's customary during a traditional Japanese tea ceremony for the hostess to serve herself, but apologize to everyone else for doing so.
No gossip is allowed in the teahouse. Women who open the piping-hot tea kettle must use a cloth. Men, on the other hand, must use their hands to show how brave they are.
Kyle Savage wasn't sure what to think after watching the ceremony played out in in a classroom at Hartland High School last week.
"I think the Japanese are a little too strict, if you ask me," the junior said. "But it's a cool ceremony."
Hundreds of Hartland High School students, such as Savage, got several chances last week to partake in World Language Week. Students could interact with guest speakers and learn about everything from the Indian art of
tabla drumming to Japanese tea ceremonies.
Activities ran during and after school.
"The study of languages is an integral part of education," said Spanish teacher Cathleen Haglund, one of the organizers of the cultural event. "It promotes communication, growth and understanding. Our hope is that the students are exposed to something new during this week."
With belly dancing, a visit by an African storyteller and a henna art workshop, Haglund can rest assured each student probably took away something new during the week.
"I think it's great to have people think outside the box and think about more than themselves," junior Amanda Pestridge said.
Pestridge was sitting in on a visit by Elizabeth James, program director with the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies at the University of Michigan. James has visited South Africa several times, and regaled the class with her tales and artifacts.
"I remember being their age and thinking, 'No way could I ever do that,' " James said. "(It's) just kind of opening their minds to traveling and seeing more of the world."
Hartland High School worked closely with U-M's International Institute to rally together many of the presenters for the third annual World Language Week program held last week.
Haglund said she would like to expand the program to include even more languages and cultures.
"We think it's been going really, really well. We've had a lot of fun," Haglund said. "We have really quality presenters."