IEGAP’s Craft & Chat committee connected with AS@P (Asian Staff at Princeton) for an Explore Furoshiki event on December 13, 2023, at the Carl A Fields Center. There was food, furoshiki, and fun to be had!
All furoshiki materials and food were provided via IEGAP and AS@P. Everyone had the option to wrap a small box, a small bottle, or to make a handbag. Guests were encouraged to bring a small gift to put into their furoshiki box.
The presenters were Mami Akiyama – Co-President of AS@P and Mich McLean – VP of IEGAP. Special guests were also invited to the event: Ijeoma D. Nwagwu – Assistant Director of the Office of Sustainability, Academic Engagement and Campus as Lab Initiatives (thanks to Anuradha Vedantham – Co-president of AS@P) and a visiting Japanese professor of psychology – Ayumi Kambara.
Mami opened the event by presenting via PowerPoint the history of furoshiki. She said that furoshiki started as a wrap to wrap your bath clothes when entering a public bathhouse or an ‘ofuro’. She briefly touched upon how it evolved into the beautiful and functional cloth wrapping it is today, and the sustainability of using cloth versus wrapping paper over the holidays. Next, after a small break, Mich presented how to wrap a box and a bottle using furoshiki. The most important thing is knowing how to tie the furoshiki knot correctly. Everyone had the option to decorate their furoshiki with small animal toys, decorative flowers, gift tags, and chocolate bars. For those who were able to stay later, Mami showed the small group how to make a bag using a large furoshiki cloth.