2 min Read

Ceremonial Tea Chat

By: David

One of my goals during my time at the Main Street Drop-In is to expose the participants and staff to various cultural and traditional practices that were taught to me throughout my life. Since Vancouver is a very multicultural and diverse population we must educate each other about our differences to further foster our relationships in the community and breakdown any cultural or societal barriers that might exist. It is through communication that we get to know each other and develop meaningful friendships that last a lifetime. What better to do this than sharing a cup of tea with each other? The Chinese Gong Fu Tea Ceremony is a way to sample good quality tea and to foster communication with your family, friends and even strangers. The tea ceremony is often held in a traditional tea house but nowadays it can be done anywhere. The tea host washes and prepares the tea with precision and care for his guests. The host explains each step of the process and facilitates the conversation with everyone attending. With each small drink of tea, the process is repeated until the tea leaves lose their flavour. It was one rainy Vancouver day that I decided to bring my ceremonial Chinese Gongfu tea set to the Drop-In Centre. I was able to spark the interest of staff and participants and invited them to have a seat and drink quality tea. I then explained the tea ceremony and its historical significance. The explanation sparked questions that acted as a catalyst for more conversations on other topics such as news, events, family and friends and more. What was amazing was this experience created a shared experience between a diverse group of people.