13 Jan. 2009 Japan

End-of-Year Yam Pounding Party – Good opportunity for people to feel closely connected to African culture.

A Ghanaian resident in Japan demonstrating yam pounding technique

On December 21, HFW held an “End-of-Year Yam Pounding Party – African Style” in front of Iidabashi station in Tokyo, supported by the Japanese Liaison Office of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. FAO declared the year 2008 the International Year of the Potato. In a region of Western Africa, the people have a tradition which involves pounding yam potato, their staple food, with a mortar and pestle. This Yam Pounding Party was organized to educate the public on this unique yam-eating culture of Africa.

The organizers put up a tent in front of the station building RAMLA. They, along with an African restaurant “Tribes” and some resident Ghanaians, demonstrated yam pounding. Some yam dishes were sold as well. Yam potatoes for this event were grown at an experimental farm on Miyako island, and were donated by the Tokyo University of Agriculture.

As many as two hundred passers-by stopped to watch what was happening, and some even tried their hand on yam pounding. It proved to be an excellent opportunity for people to feel closely connected to Africa by learning about their food culture.

Quiz was also very popular. Many visitors, both young and old, dropped by for the event.

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