By Robyn

The International Neighbors Tea Groups, long known for hospitality in their homes, welcomed an overflowing crowd, more than 150 guests and hostesses, from around the world to their twelve beautifully decorated tables at International Day.  Thank you to all who made this event such a success!

Ann Arbor Woods Tea Group leader Homa reprised her magnificent Iran table (photos attached), saying “We set up the table as if we are in our living rooms and serve our guests the finest”. In that spirit, first timers Helene and Linh, from the same Tea Group, put together a beautiful Vietnam table for all to enjoy.

The Angell Tea Group led by Sharon chose a Valentine’s Day theme as a universal symbol of friendship. Everyone helped decorating and covering the table with delicious festive treats. Alice blended the perfect pot of tea by combining Earl Gray and English Breakfast tea.

Burns Park Tea Group leader Adrienne had the help of her guests for her two tables. Mayumi and friends performed a shortened version of the traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony for assembled guests. Valeria, from Chile, hosted a cheerful South American table.

Janine, leader of the Wildwood Tea Group, hosted a terrific Hawaii table that warmed us up in winter with hibiscus tea and pineapple. She says, “What a wonderful way to welcome women from so many nations and cultures together for tea and friendship! I would like to thank Wildwood Tea group members for their “aloha” in making our Hawaiian table so lovely–especially Sylvia, Claudia, Gretchen, Lisa, Gonjoo, and Young Suk.”

Phyllis, leader of the Go Go Tea Group, said her International table was a combined effort. Highlights include a special tea available only from Priyanka’s home town in India that makes your complexion beautiful, Mae from Iraq’s delicious cakes topped with roses, and Karen’s Great Aunt’s lovely flowered china.

The Merrymakers Tea Group had to manage without leader Priscilla who is overseas, putting together two wonderful tables. Fang and Sheryl hosted a Taiwan Lantern Festival table, decorated with lit up paper lanterns in the shape of Chinese zodiac animals and a delicious array of Taiwanese tea and treats. Thank you to IN Vice President Tina for lending them her mother’s tea service from 1960s Hong Kong. Mamiko assembled her lovely table, that she called Casual Japanese to differentiate it from the more formal Tea Ceremony table, with the help of many Japanese friends.

My own Ann Arbor Hills Tea Group put together three tables, Britain, the European Union, and the Commonwealth all together in peace and harmony. A huge thanks to Manang, Shirley, and Holly for hosting the British table. Holly from England showed us how to make a proper cup of tea and we all enjoyed scones, teacake and tiny crustless tea sandwiches. Melanie from Germany and Katya from Bulgaria did a wonderful job hosting the European Union table laden with delicious cakes and Bulgarian tea. And the most sumptuous fare in the room was possibly at the Commonwealth table where Neena had cooked up an amazing array of Indian delicacies and Khadra plied everyone with savory Somalian potato pancakes and ginger coffee.  A special thanks to Yasuko and Kyoko who helped with all our tables from the beginning until the end.

International Day Coordinator Dilek made beautiful signs for the tables and a lovely display table. And IN President Julie’s remarks brought a perfect end to the day. She reiterated that we are International Neighbors a non-political organization that welcomes ALL women from ALL nations with friendship, love, and support in times of need bringing cheers and tears from the audience.