Photo-essay: How do Vietnamese students learn Japanese table manners?

In addition to education, lifestyle, eating habits, code of behaviour … are extremely important for students to become global citizens with high levels of knowledge and good ethics. With moral education as our core value, Japanese International School (JIS) focuses on how to teach good habits to students through daily practical activities, including eating and drinking as the Japanese, who are admired worldwide.

Students in the 4-year-old class, Sora, next to their lunch, with rice bowl on the left, soup bowl on the right.

At JIS, every lunch is not only a meal but also a time when students are trained to eat nicely, not to waste food, to practice teamwork, and to build gratitude. The pictures of JIS children's lunch below will interest many people when the things thought to be found only in Japan are being done every day by the young generation of Vietnam.

Two 4-year-old students are helped to wear aprons in their daily assigned duty.

Prior to eating, students place their hands together in a prayer stance and say thanks to farmers, cooks, and servers for a wonderful meal.

For Primary and Secondary students, they have to clean their classroom before lunch.

Students clean their tables and the podium, arrange books and learning equipment neatly so that the classrooms are orderly and clean.

While 3rd-grade students – JIP clean the classroom, Ms. Mochizuki Junko rearranges their writing exercises.

Each writing sheet is carefully hung up.

The rearrangement of furniture in the classroom helps students build the habit of being tidy, ordered and clean.

Minh Anh (Year 3 – JIP) rearranges her daily learning equipment. “Everyday doing the clean-up of the classroom with my friends help me know how to organize things and divide work”, she said.

According to the schedule, in the lunch on August 28th, Minh Anh along with some classmates are in charge of serving food for everyone in the class.

Grade 1 JIP students are still young but they conduct their duties as well as their seniors.

A student wearing gloves to give grapes to others while a teacher stands behind watching and supporting when needed.

Like Primary students, Secondary ones also follow rules prior to the meal.

Each serving is neatly arranged.

The act of teachers and students place their hands together to say thank you to the hardworking people who provided them with a tasteful meal is a symbol of gratitude.

Students can choose to have more of the dishes that they like, and they should enjoy everything they get without leaving food behind.

Hung Anh (Year 1 – JIP) can eat on his own quite well. The food is delicious, he says, so no one in his class leaves food behind.

Teacher of each class sits with their students during the meal. In the picture is Mr. Hitoshi Sasano (on the right) – Vice Principal and Director of JIP, who poses playfully in front of the camera.

Mr. Sasano is removing the left-over fat from his plate into the bucket. At JIS, teachers are always setting the example for students in everyday job.

Students will put tissues in a bucket and remove the food left on the plate in another bucket to ensure cleanliness.

After the meal ends, all bowls, cups, trays are classified, tables and chairs are cleaned and neatly arranged. This is a way to train the students to be tidy and caring towards kitchen staff. 

Ngoc Khanh