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Ethiopian Permanent Mission Hosts Japanese Tea Ceremony

New York, United States—Fourteen diplomats from the United Nations participated in a Japanese tea ceremony at the Permanent Mission of Ethiopia to the United Nations.

H.E. Mr. Tekeda Alemu, the permanent representative of Ethiopia to the United Nations, was the host of the event, which took place on April 22, 2014, and was organized jointly with UPF International.

The emcee for the program, Mrs. Amy Yang Miyamoto, introduced H.E. Mr. Tekeda and expressed her appreciation for his hosting the tea ceremony in his mission.

In his greetings H.E. Mr. Tekeda testified about the works of UPF at the United Nations.  The permanent representative of Ethiopia, which was the chair of the African Union in 2013, said, “Without the great contribution of UPF we could not make such a big success of the 50th anniversary meeting and celebration of the African Union.”

After that Mr. Taj Hamad, secretary general of the UPF Office of UN Relations, spoke about the relationship between UPF and the Ethiopian mission. He expressed gratitude to Ambassador Tekeda and the participants.

Then Mrs. Kyoko Sato, an expert in the Way of Tea, explained the four Principles of the tea ceremony: harmony, respect, purity and tranquility. She also spoke about the history and gave an insightful background of the ceremony.

Tea Master Mrs. Fumie Watanabe performed the complicated yet beautiful way of enjoying Japanese tea, paying careful attention to details. Many ambassadors and diplomats embraced the challenges and enjoyed the tea with joy and smiles. Many countries were represented at the Japanese tea ceremony for the first time, for example, the United States, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Malaysia.

After the tea ceremony, Mr. Andrew Miyamoto performed the song “Sarang Hae” and also led all the diplomats in singing the closing song, “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” One ambassador said, “The diplomats never sing a song together in the UN, but today I saw it happen.” After the musical presentation, we took a group photo and all participants enjoyed sushi for lunch. Everybody experienced peace through the tea ceremony.

The other guests at the tea ceremony were
H.E. Mr. Sebastiano Cardi, permanent representative of Italy;
H.E. Mr. Hussein Haniff, permanent representative of Malaysia;
H.E. Mr. Mohammed Loulichki, permanent representative of Morocco ;
H.E. Mr. Wilfried I. Emvula, permanent representative of Namibia;
H.E. Mr. Kingsley J.N. Mamabolo, permanent representative of South Africa;
H.E. Mr. Richard Nduhuura, permanent representative of Uganda;
H.E. Mr. Jeffrey DeLaurentis, ambassador from the U.S. Mission;
H.E. Mr. Rubén Armando Escalante Hasbún, deputy permanent representative of El Salvador;
H.E. Ms. Koki Muli Grignon, deputy permanent representative of Kenya;
Mr. Omar El Khadir, counsellor of Morocco;
Valentin Rybakov, minister counsellor and deputy permanent representative of Belarus;
Mr. Abdulmohsen F.A. Alyas, deputy permanent representative of Saudi Arabia; and
Miss Lolwa Saoud A. Alrasheed from the Kuwaiti Mission.

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